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Mt. SAC Football advances to regional final with 34-7 win over El Camino

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Mt SAC wins National Bowl

Mt. SAC football players celebrate first playoff win Sat. Nov. 19


The road to another potential championship is set for Mt. SAC’s football team, winners of the National Southern Conference, with a 34-7 home win over National Northern Conference Champions El Camino at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on Saturday in the 2011 National Bowl game.

Coming in with a 9-1 overall record and an unblemished 5-0 conference record, the Mounties went into Saturday’s game as the No. 1 seed, meaning they had home field advantage throughout the Community College football playoffs. El Camino came in with an 8-2 record and 3-2 in the Northern conference and ranked No. 4.

Mt SAC running back Matthew Botello carried nine times for 64 yards and touchdowns of 35 and 12 yards while quarterback Cameron Deen was 24 out of 31 on the afternoon for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns as Mt. SAC built a 20-7 halftime advantage on the visiting Warriors, despite El Camino boasting one of the top defenses in the state.

According to local reports, Deen came into the game having thrown for 2,202 yards, 17 TDs and 10 interceptions this season, but the Mounties had to prove that their young players had progressed enough to overcome a loss to Riverside earlier in the year.

After taking an early 6-0 lead on Botello’s first score, a 35 yard scamper in the first quarter, El Camino aided by a pass interference call against the Mounties took a 7-6 lead with 5:30 to play in the opening quarter. It would prove to be their only foray into the endzone.

The Mounties posted 14 unanswered points in the second quarter and held the Warriors’ offense in check throughout the second half of play.

Sophomore Linebacker Richard Thorpe (Fontana H.S.) was named conference defensive player of the year and said he had to silence his critics with his play again on Saturday. Thorpe had several big sacks and an interception to lead Mt. SAC defensively.

“There was some talk about how I shouldn’t have been conference defensive MVP so I had to show them how it was,” said Thorpe, adding Saturday’s win was just the first step in a detailed plan, “We are just trying to get to Dec. 10 and go up North and beat whoever wins up there because we are trying to get another championship here.”

Deen’s 43 yard scoring pass to Finau Lomu in the fourth quarter was the final dagger as the Mounties rolled.

Mt. SAC coach Bob Jastrab said that Mt. SAC worked on minimizing the mistakes and penalties which plagued the team earlier in the year. “We’ve been stressing not to do anything that will cost you a championship or a football game, because if it does, you’re done.”

Jastrab said his younger players have made strides quickly. “They are not young anymore, they’ve got 10 games underneath their belts and they are playing well. I am proud of them, I am proud of how they’ve progressed and I think they understand the importance of being perfect and not making the same mistakes.”

The National Bowl serves as the semifinals for the Southern California Regionals with the winner facing off against the Cerritos-Palomar winner next week. Jastrab said he was not concerned about which school the Mounties play next, and would concentrate on preparing the team to continue to play well.

“We got them at home, at 1 o’clock, that’s to our advantage there, but they’re still great football teams and we gotta show and play well or go home.”

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Nov. 26 in the second round game against Cerritos or Palomar, whom the Mounties already beat 27-14 earlier this year.

-Ariel Carmona Jr.


Written by sgvsports

November 21, 2011 at 4:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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