East County Sports

County-best Mesa rallies past Palomar

Mesa College linebacker Chris Alba pressures Palomar quarterback Zeke Payne on Saturday. / Nicole Noel

2021 COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL

SAN DIEGO MESA 31, PALOMAR 27

ECS staff report

ESCONDIDO —- San Diego Mesa College quarterback Gunnar Gray fired three touchdown passes Saturday (Oct. 2),, including a pair during a 21-0 scoring spree to rally from a 27-10 deficit to shock host Palomar College, 31-27, at Escondido High’s Cougar Stadium.

The massive comeback  started when Gray connected with Anthony Gilpin on a 9-yard pass with 16 seconds left in the first half.

After the intermission, the Olympians’ defense shut out the Comets, giving Mesa’s offense ample time to complete the rally in the fourth quarter.

First, Cael Patterson ran the ball in from 5 yards out with 12 minutes remaining. Gray then found Jevin Dorse on a 19-yard TD pass with 9:59 left to grab the lead for the first time. A short 21-yard drive was set up on a red zone  interception by Kuino Makihele.

Palomar held the advantage over the opening 23 minutes to secure a 17-point advantage on three TD passes by Zeke Payne.  The first two went to Brandon Johnson covering 67 and 3 yards, then a 39-yard pass to Tajae Brooks with 6:50 left in the half.

However, Mesa limited Palomar to a mere 102 yards in total offense in the second half, when the Comets were just 3-for-10 on third-down conversions, featuring Makihele’s key interception.

The Olympians also registered five sacks among six pass rushers, while the Comets never reached the Mesa quarterback.

Mesa’s balanced attack featured 156 rushing yards by Cael Patterson on 19 carries. Palomar back Tawee Walker posted 99 yards on 17 rushes.

The top Mesa tacklers were Jacob Wiggins and John Carroll (Helix), each with seven stops including a sack.

SUMMARY
OLYMPIANS 31, COMETS 27
San Diego Mesa (4-1)..  7 10 0 14 – 31
Palomar (2-3)……… 13 14 0  0 – 27

P – B.Johnson 67 pass from Payne. (Ogles kick)
M – Dorsey 3 pass from Gray (Camacho kick)
P – B.Johnson 3 pass from Payne. (kick failed)
M – FG Camacho 35
P -Brooks 39 pass from Payne. (Ogles kick)
P –  Walker 35 run. (Ogles kick)
M – Gilpin 9 pass from Gray. (Camacho kick)
M – Patterson 5 run. (Camacho kick)
M – Dorsey 19  pass from Gray. (Camacho kick)

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