(VENTURA) – By John M. Sherrard – Ventura College, behind a late touchdown, edged visiting Mt. San Antonio College, 34-29, Saturday night in a nonconference game.
With victory in their grasp and the Mounties (1-1) holding a 29-28 lead with 1:33 remaining, a crucial Mt. SAC penalty near midfield kept a Ventura drive alive which would lead to the go-ahead score with 39 seconds left and the eventual Mt. SAC loss.
Just one play earlier, Mountie defensive lineman Elmer Pauni (Granger HS, West Valley, UT) made an important stop of the Ventura running back for no gain to put the Pirates in a fourth and one at the Mt. SAC 47. However, the penalty gave Ventura (2-0) new life and three plays later would take the lead for good.
Mt. SAC sophomore quarterback Anfernee Bruton (Lithonia HS, Atlanta, GA) threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns (16-33) and ran for 122 yards on 22 carries.
Sophomore running back Sateki Finau (Rancho Cucamonga HS) ran for 91 yards on nine carries for the Mounties.
With 9:30 left in the game the Mounties would take their third lead of the game, 29-28, on a 25-yard touchdown reception by sophomore wide receiver Kennedy Sykes (Lakewood HS) from Bruton. Sykes caught four passes for 88 yards and two TDs, while freshman receiver Tavonn Salter (Stephenson HS, Atlanta, GA) had 83 yards on six receptions.
The Mounties took a 17-0 lead on their first two possessions of the game within the first three minutes.
A 37-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Brandon Gracia (Ayala HS) and a 42-yard run by Finau gave the Mounties the quick lead.
Gracia would kick two more field goals (43, 44 yards) in the half.
However, Ventura came storming back with three TDs, to trail the Mounties, 23-21, at the half.
Quarterback Jake Luton (27-53, 368 yards) and receiver Cam Taylor (10 catches for 155 yards) were the offensive leaders for the Pirates.
The teams would trade touchdowns in the second half before the winning drive by Ventura.
Taylor gave Ventura the 28-23 lead with a 28-yard TD reception, prior to Sykes' TD to give the Mounties their last lead of the game, 29-28.
For more information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.