Eagles Win OT Thriller, Earn Bowl Bid

The MSJC football team won 43-42 Saturday in overtime at Citrus, and earned a spot in the 2019 Western States Bowl next week.
The MSJC football team won 43-42 Saturday in overtime at Citrus, and earned a spot in the 2019 Western States Bowl next week.

The MSJC football team won with a two point conversion in overtime Saturday afternoon at Citrus, to finish the season 8-2, and earn a bid to the 2019 Western States Bowl.

The Eagles will be playing in their first bowl game since 2012 when the team finished the season 9-2 and hosted the Patriotic Bowl.  This year's Western States Bowl will be held at Righetti High School in Santa Maria on Saturday November 23rd at 6 pm, where the Eagles will take on Alan Hancock College.  Hancock also has a record of 8-2 on the year and were the champions of the American Division Pacific League.

On Saturday the bowl bid was in question in Glendora until the very last play of the game.  The Eagles and Owls fought through regulation with several key plays swinging momentum in each direction, but the game was tied at 35 a piece after 60 minutes to force overtime.  Citrus had the ball first in OT, and promptly scored on a two yard run to take a 42-35 lead.  The Eagles then answered with a score of their own when quarterback Brett Virgil scored on a two yard run to cut the lead to 42-41, the big play to set up the overtime score was a 19 yard pass from Virgil to C.J. Sullivan.  The ensuing extra point try by Nicholas Sibilla was missed wide left and it appeared the Eagles had lost the game.  However, a penalty against Citrus for running into the kicker was called and the Eagles now had the ball at the one and a half yard line.  From there Coach Casey Mazzotta's team decided to go for two and the win.  Virgil kept the snap from center and ran it over the goal line to give MSJC the dramatic 43-42 win.

The Eagles trailed by as much as 14 in the second half, but were able to score two touchdowns in the final 6:09 of the third quarter to tie the game up.  Alonzo Bell caught a 3 yard pass from Virgil and then Virgil ran one in from 28 yards to send the game into the fourth period tied.  Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth setting up the dramatic overtime scenario.

Virgil finished the day going 24 of 45 passing for 356 yards, he also led the team in rushing with 94 yards on 19 carries.  Rashoud Shelton and C.J. Sullivan each caught a game high 6 balls, Sherod White had 4 receptions for 105 yards and a TD, while Bell had the other touchdown catch as part of his 5 reception day.  The MSJC defense gave up 439 yards, but came up with some huge plays with the game on the line to nail down the victory.  Josiah Pinon had a career day as he was credited with 17 total tackles and five sacks, Jayden Dawson had 10 tackles and 4 pass break-ups.  Steven Bradshaw concluded his monster regular season with 10 more tackles, an interception, and a quarterback hurry.  Bradshaw finished the regular season with 100 total tackles, 3 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions, his 100 tackles ties him for the State lead.  Jorden Kinney also had an INT for the Eagles. 

The 8-2 finish to the season for MSJC is also their best record since 2012, and comes on the heels of a 7-3 mark in 2018.