By Megan Perry
A last-second field goal lead to a Husky loss during a nail-biting conference opener against Mt. San Jacinto College last Saturday on Husky territory. It was the first loss since Sept. 24, 2011 against College of the Canyons.
MSJC kicker Jaime Lucio connected on a winning 32-yard field goal with 7.5 seconds left on the clock for a 35-32 Eagles win.
Both teams stepped on the field with an overall record of 3-0 with the Huskies ranked No. 16 in the state. MSJC was ranked No. 15 entering the game.
The Huskies will host Southwestern College, the conference favorite, next Saturday at 6 p.m.
“Southwestern is a tough team, and they’re coming here. It’s must-win from here on out for us. We just definitely have to keep working and not put our heads down,” Husky Aaron Cantu said.
Head Coach Steve Mojarro credited last Saturday night’s loss to himself. He said the team played very well.
“They gave everything they had. It’s just bad coaching on my part. We should have made a couple adjustments early, and we didn’t quite do them,” Mojarro said.
The fourth quarter began with the Huskies leading 26 – 25. “Our strength (tonight) has to be our defense. They played with a lot of intensity and a lot of heart,” Mojarro said.
ELAC’s defensive line stood their ground to the offensive Eagles. MSJC’s quarterback Tim Morovick was left running the ball out of bounds on numerous occasions while he searched for an open teammate.
Morovick had a net total of 31 rushing yards and passed for 222 yards connecting on 16 of 26 attempts with one touchdown.
The Huskies had a total of three sacks on Morovick, two of which are credited to linebacker Donyae Olton resulting in a loss of 14 yards for MSJC. Defensive back Kenneth Moore and Olton were together responsible for a sack that was a 3-yard loss for the Eagles.
Cantu, currently ranked No.1 overall in passing in the state, with a 69 percent passing average and 479 yards during last Saturday’s game, said that the Eagles played well and called the right plays at the right times.
“They kind of confused me and I threw a couple picks,” Cantu said.
Eagle Dejon Brown caught picked off two of Cantu’s three throws, the second of which was in the fourth quarter at MSJC 30-yard line that killed a Husky drive.
The Huskies didn’t take too long to recover. Husky CJ Dudley intercepted Morovick’s pass at ELAC’s 15-yard line.
The Eagles had the pressure on Cantu, but once he got the ball back in his hands, he connected with the running backs and receivers to score a touchdown, pushing ELAC’s score up to 32-25.
Afterwards, MSJC started their drive with 5:43 left on their own 30-yard line.
Morovick handed the ball of to Superiorr Reid, who rushed 70 yards scoring a touchdown, quickly tying the score.
Cantu answered by taking the ball down to the Eagles 6-yard line. On fourth-and-3 the Huskies decided to go for a touchdown at 2:20.
Cantu said that when the ball snapped, a miscommunication with the cadence caused him to fumble and a turnover killed the Husky drive.
The game was up to the defence to stop the Morovick-led Eagles with a little more than two minutes on the clock.
The key play on the drive was a Morovick pass to Dalton Hunkle for a 45-yard gain to the ELAC 21-yard line. Lucio eventually kicked the final field goal of the game, which ranks him currently the No.1 kicker overall in Southern California.
“They brought it all the down to the last second and kicked a field goal. We tried to ice them, and it just didn’t quite make it. Football is a game of inches, and they came out on the good side of inches,” Mojarro said.
“It wasn’t really in my hands, but I was cheering on the defense, hoping that somehow we’d get the win. That didn’t happen, but that’s how football is: you win some, you lose some,” Cantu said.