East County Sports

Griffins win fourth straight; Jags routed

Grossmont's Payton Monson reverses field on the way to a touchdown. / P.J. Panebianco


ECS staff report

Grossmont 23, College of the Desert 13

EL CAJON —- The Grossmont Griffins figured to have more success starting this season with their move to the American Conference’s Mountain Division after successive one-win seasons in 2018-19.

But who saw this coming?

The Griffins have now won four straight heading into next week’s regular-season finale at winless Compton following their 23-13 triumph over the visiting College of the Desert Roadrunners on Saturday (Oct. 30) at Mashin-Roth Memorial Field.

With the victory, the Griffs have won six games in a season for the first time since 2010 when the club went 6-5.

The four-game win streak is also the program’s longest since that season, which featured a five-game winning string that included a forfeit victory of a Week 2 loss to El Camino. Otherwise, the longest on-field winning streak was a year earlier, in 2010, when the Grossmont opened the season with six-straight victories.

Grossmont had won just six games combined over the last three campaigns (2017-19), resulting in the Griffs’ placement in the lower-rung league.

Grossmont (6-2 overall, 3-1 in the Mountain Division of the American Conference) scored on its opening drive, as Keiyon Holloway broke several tackles and headed to the end zone for a touchdown.

Grossmont sophomore Treyvion Davies had four gains on the drive totaling 33 yards on the possession.

Following an interception by COD, the Roadrunners converted the turnover into a score, culminated by a quarterback keeper. The PAT was no good, leaving the Griffins with a 7-6 lead in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, freshman Nathan Hughes booted a 45-yard field goal to put the Griffins up 10-6.

On COD’s next drive, Jeremiah Fletcher led a gang tackle for a 6-yard loss but the ‘Runners got a big gain to midfield and then converted a fourth-and-10 with a quarterback run to the 7-yard line of Grossmont.

However, the Griffins, aided by a substitution infraction by COD, kept the Roadrunners out of the end zone and a field-goal try hit the upright.

The Griffins had a nice drive in the second quarter with a completion to freshman Kadeem Bakare and a big gainer to Monson coming from the arm of quarterback Brady Abt but a fumble killed the drive.

Freshman Payton Maull had an interception late in the second quarter to get the ball back for the Griffins.

Moments later, Grossmont sophomore quarterback Brady Abt completed another pass for Bakare for a first down, then the QB stepped up in the pocket and lofted a ball downfield that hit Payton Monson in stride for a touchdown to make it 16-6 in favor of the Griffs.

In the third quarter, COD scored a quick touchdown on the opening drive of the second half with a big gain to the Grossmont 43 to start things off, then a 41-yard completion for a score, drawing the Roadrunners to within 16-13.

However, Grossmont answered on a touchdown reception by Monson off a swing pass, as the man from Houston reversed his field and picked up several blocks as he ended up following Abt to the goal line for the touchdown and the resulting 23-13 lead.

The score was set up by a double-pass play which resulted in a completion down inside the 10 from freshman Dillon Gebase to Monson. Monson also had an 11-yard gain on the drive.

Desperate to stay in the game, the ‘Runners were stopped on a fourth-down attempt out of punt formation and the Griffins took over deep in COD territory.

Grossmont got inside the 10 once again, this time on a pass from Abt to Gebase, but the Griffins ended up turning the ball over on a fumble.

The Griffins had a touchdown taken off the board late in the third quarter for a holding penalty, then COD got to Abt for a sack bringing up fourth down as the third quarter ended.

Grossmont couldn’t execute the field goal snap on the first play of the fourth, however, so the Griffins failed to convert the possession into points.

Sophomore Robert Whitehead came up with an interception on the next COD possession but the Roadrunners recorded another sack.

After the Roadrunners saw their receiver make a spectacular one-handed catch for a big gain and COD moved into Griffin territory, the Grossmont defense forced a fourth-and-9 from the 27.

Desert turned the ball over on downs on an incompletion, then Holloway ran for 39 yards and followed that up with a run where he refused to go down and ended up at the COD 27.

Sophomore Michael Cheesborough hauled in a 10-yard pass as Grossmont moved down to the 12, the Boyd Javaya had a reception to help get the ball to the 5 with just 3:21 left in the game.

Grossmont couldn’t put points on the board, but the ensuing COD drive moved the ball to the 28 where the Griffs ended up taking over after a stop on fourth-and-9.


Saddleback 48, Southwestern 7

MISSION VIEJO —- In a meeting of winless ballclubs in American Conference/Mountain Division play, host Saddleback (3-5 overall) sent Southwestern (2-5) to its sixth setback in seven starts in a one-sided affair in south Orange County.

The Gauchos posted three touchdowns in both the first and second quarters before calling off the horses. At least Southwestern snapped a streak of two straight shutout losses by reaching the end zone in the second period.

Trailing 35-0, Christian Jourdain hauled in a 23-yard pass from Kahanu Davis, capping an 8-play, 75-yard drive. Otherwise, the Jaguars’ offense only managed 153 yards over the balance of the game.

Regularly a wide receiver this season, Davis is the fifth SWC player to see extended game time behind center this season for flustered head coach Ed Carberry.

Davis’ final numbers were reasonable considering the lack of success for the Jags at the position this season, as he completed 12-of-22 throws for 123 yards.

Southwestern’s quarterback Jaylin Crowell went 4-for-5, but for minus-9 yards.

Among the few highlights for the Jags, linebacker Saiyvionn Williams led the defense with seven tackles (six solo). He’s been the Jaguars’ best defender this season.

Saddleback snapped a four-game losing streak of its own by scoring on six of its first seven drives.

The Gauchos also blocked two Southwestern kicks.

Saddleback had nearly 450 yards of total offense.

Southwestern will travel to play San Bernardino Valley (3-4, 1-2 Mountain) next Saturday night at 6.

Fullerton at San Diego Mesa, ppd.

KEARNY MESA —- Forty years ago, the last time Fullerton College traveled south to meet San Diego Mesa College when the Olympians were ranked higher in the state poll, the Hornets were trailing 17-14 yet one last chance to pull out a last-second victory.

However, the Olympian won on the final, do-or-die play, with an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Fullerton coach Hal Sherbeck, a member of the CCCAA Hall of Fame, was so disgusted, he puled his ballclub from the field and would not allow Mesa to kick the extra point (as the rules were at the time).

Fullerton was out of the playoffs, the Olympians won their season finale over Mt. San Antonio, 33-31, when the Mounties missed a field goal on the game’s final play, and Mesa went on to participate in the Pony Bowl at Cerritos.

The circumstances were nearly identical on Saturday (Oct. 30), as Mesa, ranked 11th in California, had a chance to repeat the feat and knock Fullerton out of the playoffs, even though the Hornets are two places higher in both the state and Southern California poll.

Plus, Mesa was expecting a crowd nearly identical to the infamous 1981 meeting.

Although the website to both schools did not express a reason, the Halloween Eve game was postponed.

The CCCAA state website simply stated that the contest has been rescheduled for Sat., Nov. 20, a date which is otherwise reserved for the playoffs. Thus, should Mesa gains a postseason berth, the contest with Fullerton would be canceled — or the Hornets could just bow out.


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