East County Sports

Jaguars hold off Comets in bowl

Palomar Comets Beach Bowl


BEACH BOWL at DeVore Stadium



By Tom Saxe



CHULA VISTA (11-17-2018) – Southwestern College survived the Beach Bowl at DeVore Stadium on Saturday, holding off Palomar, 28-24, in a classic contest that actually was two exceptional games in one.

The functional word in that sentence was “survived” as Southwestern rolled in the first half and Palomar easily won the second half.

The Jaguars had their way to lead 28-7 at halftime by outscoring the Comets 21-0 in the second quarter. Then they held on for dear life for the victory as the momentum reversed and Palomar outscored them 17-0 in the second half.

Palomar appeared to take the lead as the clock wound down at the end of the game when what appeared to be Connor Curry’s third touchdown pass of the game to Mikel Barkley did not count. The official closest to the play ruled Barkley didn’t have control of the ball on the 21-yarder third-down pass in the right corner of the end zone with 2:01 showing on the DeVore Stadium scoreboard clock.

On the ensuing fourth-and-10 play, Curray was tackled by The Jaguars’ Nicholas Bailey and Cameron Hanson at the 14-yard line, two yards short of a first-down. Possession went over to Southwestern, which ran out the clock.

This came down on an afternoon when Southwestern stopped the Comets deep in the red zone four times, three times at the 6-yard line or closer.

Palomar’s touchdowns came on a 14-yard Curry-to-Barkley pass play to tie the game at 7-7 in the first quarter, following a 22-yard run by fullback Arnold Yoder, a 30-yard fumble return by Logan Gamble in the third quarter and an 8-yard TD pass from Curry to Barkley earlier in the fourth quarter. Mark Meader also kicked a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter and converted three extra points.

The Comets outgained the Jaguars 388 yards to 308 in total offense, including 246 yards to 205 passing and 142 yards to 103 rushing.

Palomar also had a time advantage of 33:21 to 24:47.

Tight end William Gonzalez, Barkley and Devin Nilson caught a combined 12 passes from Curry for 176. Gonzalez was named Palomar’s Most Valuable Player in the game, while Southwestern defensive back Logan Darby, who led the Jaguars defensively with 11 tackles, was the selected as Player of the Game and DB Riley Havird was the Jaguars’ MVP.

Southwestern had taken its 28-7 halftime lead on  touchdown Demonte Morris to Andre Randolph for 28 yards, a 2-yard TD keeper by Morris, a 27-yard pass from Marcus Hernandez-Torrez to DeAngelo Howard  and a 1-yard run by Terrell Johnson.

Deondre Daniels rushed for 71 yards on eight carries for Southwestern.

Jay Craft led the Comets defensively with 7 solo tackles, including a sack. Josh Bernard, Jonathon Segi and Giovanni Herrera each had five solo tackles. Nick So’oto contributed five tackles, including two tackles for loss and forced a fumble. Mason Simeta had five tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack.

“I really thought we’d be able to punch it in at the end. We had all the momentum,” Palomar coach Joe Early said. “We had our opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of enough of them. Southwestern took advantage of theirs.”

Southwestern completed its season with an 8-3 record. Palomar finished its season 6-5



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