San José City College’s run at its first conference title since 2010 ended in a close loss to Monterey Peninsula College, which claimed its third straight conference championship. The Jags, however, still have a shot at getting a historic eighth win of the season, a feat not achieved since the CCCAA began keeping season records in 1995. To do that the Jags will need to beat Hartnell College on Saturday.
The closely contested night game at MPC was, in effect, a conference championship game ending in a 21-17 loss for the Jags, who had been ranked 25th in the Nov. 6 CCCSIA poll. Going into the game, MPC and SJCC had 4-0 conference records, with the Jaguars holding first place. Both teams have 7-2 overall records.
The scoring started in the first quarter when MPC’s Cameron Brown caught a 29-yard pass from Anthony Cortez, and Jaime Haro successfully kicked the extra point, giving MPC a 7-0 lead.
However, SJCC quickly responded with a touchdown of their own. Trent Cousens threw a 2-yard pass to Jesse R Lajes, and Matt Mirton’s kick was good, tying the game at 7-7. MPC regained the lead when Karim Mccune caught a 30-yard pass from Cortez, and Haro’s kick was successful, making the score 14-7 in favor of MPC.
In the second quarter, SJCC managed to reduce the deficit with a 28-yard field goal by Matt Mirton, bringing the score to 14-10. Both teams’ third quarter remained scoreless, setting up an exciting final quarter.
SJCC took the lead for the first time in the game when Cousens threw a 14-yard pass to Anthony Jones, and Owen Lagos’ kick was good, giving SJCC a 17-14 advantage. However, MPC quickly turned the tide with a 92-yard touchdown pass from Cortez to Mccune, and Haro’s kick was successful, putting MPC back in the lead at 21-17.
Looking at the statistics, SJCC had the upper hand regarding first downs, with 22 compared to MPC’s 13. SJCC also had a higher third-down efficiency, converting 47 percent of their attempts compared to MPC’s 25 percent. Both teams struggled on fourth downs, with SJCC converting 50 percent of their attempts and MPC converting 25 percent.
Regarding total offense, SJCC gained 313 yards compared to MPC’s 271 yards. SJCC had a balanced attack, gaining 182 yards through the air and 131 yards on the ground. Conversely, MPC relied more on their passing game, gaining 171 yards through the air and 100 yards on the ground.
Punting was fairly even, with SJCC punting four times for 133 yards and MPC punting four times for 143 yards. The average punt distance for SJCC was 35.8 yards, slightly higher than MPC’s 33.3 yards.
In terms of penalties, SJCC committed more infractions, with three penalties for 25 yards, compared to MPC’s one penalty for 1 yard. Neither team lost a fumble during the game.
Defensively, SJCC recorded four sacks for a loss of 24 yards, while MPC did not record any sacks. SJCC also had three interceptions for 16 yards, while MPC had two interceptions for 12 yards.
Time of possession was fairly even, with SJCC holding the ball for 31 minutes and 59 seconds, compared to MPC’s 26 minutes and 11 seconds.
There is no doubt the Jags are frustrated by letting this one slip out of their paws. Still, they have a lot to be proud of, with Cousens leading the American Golden West Conference in passing yards and passing touchdowns, Lajes leading in rushing touchdowns, and Jones leading in receiving yards. The Jaguars lead the conference in total points, average points per game, touchdowns, extra points, and field goals.
The Jaguars are still playing for history as they try to get their eighth win of the season against Hartnell College. Kick-off is at 1 pm at Jaguar Stadium.