By John M. Sherrard
(COVINA) For the third game in a row the Mt. SAC defense shined and the Mounties got their second shutout of the season and fourth consecutive win, defeating Chaffey College, 37-0, in a National Division Central Conference game at Covina District Stadium Saturday night.
With the win the Mounties improved to 3-0 in conference and 6-2 overall and remain in a first-place tie with Riverside City College. Mt. SAC ends the regular season in two weeks with a possible title-clinching game at RCC.
In the last three games the Mountie defense has allowed only 10 points, allowing only one touchdown.
"I was very pleased with the effort of our football team," Mt. SAC coach Bob Jastrab said.
"Especially with the defense with its second shutout of the season, against a big and physical team."
Shining for the defense and highlight play of the game was a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by Mt. SAC sophomore defensive back Michael Johnson.
Not to be outdone, the offense was led by Mounties running back Sateki Finau with a season-high three TDs. The sophomore carried the ball seven times for 81 yards.
The leading ground-gainer in the game was sophomore Andre Walker with 110 yards on 15 carries, while sophomore running back Edgar Segura had 79 yards on 11 carries and a TD. The three running backs combined for 270 yards.
"Our offense had a great night rushing the ball from Finau, Segura and Walker," Jastrab added.
Segura and Finau gave the Mounties a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter with TD runs of 10 and four yards respectively.
On Chaffey's first possession of the second quarter and the ball just inside Mt. SAC territory, Johnson gave the Mounties a 21-0 lead with his long TD interception run.
Sophomore kicker Brandon Gracia booted his ninth field goal of the season with a 26-yarder with 9:14 left in the first half for the 24-0 lead.
The Mountie defense, which had two interceptions (Johnson, La'Tre Jacquess) in the game, caused a fumble deep in Chaffey territory early in the third quarter as sophomore linebacker Kyle Woolard-Hilton hit the Chaffey ball carrier.
Freshman defensive lineman Lonetona Toailoa Isara recovered the fumble at the Panthers four-yard line and one play later Finau ran the ball in for the TD and the Mounties led, 30-0.
Near the end of the quarter Finau scored his third touchdown of the game on a 12-yard run for the final, 37-0 score.
In the fourth quarter the defense shined again as sophomore defensive back Reginald Young blocked a 38-yard FG attempt by the Chaffey kicker.
With 7:19 left in the game freshman defensive tackle Sitaleki Finefeuiake led the defense with a tackle to preserve the shutout deep in Mountie territory on fourth and eight.
Mt. SAC travels to L.A. Harbor next Saturday for a 6:00 p.m. game.
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