The MSJC football team led 20-7 after one quarter and 34-14 at the half then held on down the stretch to win their season opener on Saturday against L.A. Pierce 42-34.
The Eagles scored just 3 minutes into the contest when Javier Luna caught a pass from Brett Virgil from five yards out for the season's first touchdown. The TD was set up by an MSJC fumble recovery by Kervin Jones inside the Pierce 10 yard line. The extra point failed and MSJC had a 6-0 lead. After another defensive stop by the Eagles Virgil once again hooked up with Luna, this time from 56 yards out for the duo's second score of the day, the extra point was good and MSJC led 13-0. Pierce would answer with a big play of their own as they connected on a 60 yard scoring pass to cut into the Eagles lead. Luna, however continued his huge first quarter as he returned the ensuing kick off 66 yards to the Pierce 24 yard line giving the Eagles another scoring opportunity. Three plays later Virgil completed his third TD pass of the game as he hit Cayden Chambers for a 7 yard score and MSJC led after the first quarter 20-7.
Midway through the second period Pierce would cut the lead to 20-14 as they capped a 12 play 88 yard drive with a 20 yard scoring pass. MSJC answered with a pair of touchdowns in the final 6:03 of the half as Virgil threw for two more scores, one a 34 yard strike to Chambers and the other an 18 yard pass to Jaron Usher. Both point afters were good and the Eagles led at the half 34-14.
The second half was a little sloppy for the Eagles as Pierce scored two times in the third quarter to cut the lead to 34-28. MSJC was finally able to put the game out of reach with 2:50 to play in the final quarter when Sherod White broke a 49 yard touchdown run. Virgil then ran in the two point conversion to push the lead to 42-28. There was some drama late as the Eagles fumbled a punt attempt in their own end zone with 42 seconds remaining that Pierce was able to recover and cut the lead back to 8, but MSJC recovered the on side kick to seal the victory.
Virgil finished the game going 14 of 25 through the air for 231 yards and five touchdowns, he was intercepted once. Luna had 5 total catches for 91 yards and C.J. Sullivan added 4 receptions for 38 yards. White carried the ball a team high 15 times for 101 yards.
On defense, Dallas Frederick had a game high 13 total tackles while Steven Bradshaw added 10, with two and a half of them being for negative yardage. Adrian Sanchez had a sack and a half while Michael Erim also had a sack. In the secondary Jayden Dawson broke up 3 passes in the victory.
The Eagles now 1-0 on the season will be at home again on Saturday Sepetember 14th when they host LA Southwest at 1 pm at Carl Quandt Stadium. Saturday's game and all games this season can be seen live on the MSJC Athletics Twitter account.