By Dan Gudino
Another hard-battled game ended in the sixth straight loss for the football team on the road against Mount San Jacinto College on Saturday, 21-12.
What could of been a 7-2 season, has turned for the worse, ELAC has lost by an average margin of seven points, not including the Victor Valley College loss 58-21.
ELAC, now 2-7 in the season and 1-5 in the American Mountain Conference, has failed due to its inability to close out games.
ELAC, like in the previous weeks, had a final drive opportunity.
With seconds left in the final possession of the game, QB Marty threw his second pick six of the season. Freshman linebacker Darwin Anderson intercepted the Marty pass for a 19-yard touchdown return to give MSJC its fifth victory of the season.
The two-quarterback system ELAC implements has cost the Huskies a total of 70 points this season, due to freshman quarterback Brian Marty’s 12 interceptions.
10 out of 12 of Marty’s interceptions have resulted in lost points, with red zone interceptions, points after Marty’s interceptions and interceptions returned for touchdowns.
In five of its seven losses, the Huskies have held or taken the lead in the second half.
Like last week and in three of its four last games, it’s been a backup quarterback who has led the opposing team to a victory. With just 2:39 left in the game, ELAC had a 12-7 lead, but again lost on a winning drive by another opposing backup quarterback.
This time it was MSJC sophomore backup QB Vitu Chilongo.
Out of the 60 minutes of play, Chilongo in amazing fashion, with just 4 minutes and three seconds of total play, orchestrated six of seven completed passes on the winning drive.
Chilongo threw a high touchdown pass to the 6-foot-5-inch sophomore receiver Marlon Archer for 12 yards to give MSJC a 15-12 lead, which left 38 seconds in the game.
“I just told my guys to calm down and I’ll do the rest. I’ll put it where it needs to be and let’s just go out there and have fun to do it,” said Chilongo.
MSJC is now 5-4 in the season and in fourth place in the American Mountain Conference, ELAC is tied for last place.
When ELAC Athletic Director Al Cone was asked to grade the football team, he respectfully declined to comment but shared what he felt about the team.
“I honestly believe we’re in a better place than in a number of years. Unfortunately, the wins have not been happening, but that’s part of the game. These guys are kids, they’re growing as players and most importantly as people,” said Cone.
Cone also shared what he saw after the game.
“I could tell these kids really care, I saw some players crying on the sidelines. It shows you how competitive they are in this emotional game,” said Cone.
ELAC is back home on Saturday for the season finale at 1 p.m., against American Conference foe No. 1 San Bernardino (8-1, 5-1).
SB will need to to beat ELAC and hope for MSJC to beat College of the Desert (5-4, 5-1), in order to win the American Mountain Conference outright and avoid a three-way tie with VVC (8-1, 5-1) , Desert and SB.