The Mustangs took on the Shasta Valley College Knights in what was expected to be a brawl between two undefeated titans. LMC played tough and hung around for three quarters, but too many mistakes cost them a chance to remain unbeaten for another week.
LMC won the toss and chose to send their defense out first, a move the paid off almost immediately as Dushawn Thomas picked off Shasta quarterback Tim Naylor and returned it to about mid-field.
Second year man Sohail Moshini made the start at quarterback for the Stangs and moved the ball down the field but thanks to a false start penalty, the drive stalled out.
Cesar Hernandez trotted out to boot a 36 yard field goal as the Stangs successfully turned the Thomas pick into points and gave LMC a 3-0 lead.
Shasta responded with a methodical 11 play 72 yard drive capped off by a six yard Justin Hellyer rushing score.
Shasta’s next score came a lot faster thanks to a Mario Mezier pick six on Moshini’s first pass following Shasta’s touchdown drive.
Moshini quickly shook off the interception and lead the Stangs into the redzone. However, when faced with third and nine from the 19, Moshini threw another pick. This time to Dion Page who opted not to try and return it and instead took the touchback and set up his offense at the 25 yard line.
Shasta’s offense took the field with a different quarterback following the turnover. Ryan Pollard took over under center, but couldn’t replicate the success of Naylor’s previous drive as the Knights went three and out.
The two teams couldn’t get anything going on offense and exchanged punts on consecutive drives.
LMC had made a quarterback change of their own with Gabe Taylor taking over for Moshini.
Taylor closed the gap between the Knights and Stangs when he found Morgan Benjamin for 78 yard touchdown making the score a tight 14-10 in favor of the Knights.
After both teams punted, Shasta qb Tim Naylor checked back in and on his second drive back found Eric Saintil for a 53 yard touchdown strike again putting Shasta up by two scores.
Taylor and the offense embarked on an 11 play drive in an attempt to respond the the Saintil score but when faced with fourth and one in field goal range, LMC rolled the dice and went for it and came up short giving the Knights the ball at their own 28 yard line.
The Knights quickly moved the ball in the redzone and with five seconds left, kicked the field goal to go into half time with a 24-10 half time lead.
LMC started the second half with a thirty yard kickoff return that was called back to the 17 due to a penalty.
Taylor remained the quarterback and got the offense back into field goal range where this time they took their three point making it a 24-13 ball game.
On the next play the Knights fumbled the kickoff back the the Mustangs and with all the momentum on their side, Taylor and the offense converted the Knights turnover into points for the second time with a Billy Wells touchdown catch.
The extra point attempt by Hernandez was no good making the score 24-19.
The rest of the game was miserable for both the LMC offense and defense as they would not score again for the rest of the game and would give up another 20 point making the final score 44-19.
After the game, Moshini touched on the teams performance and how they can get better. “I thought we definitely didn’t play up to our potential and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers which you can’t do against a good team. But rather then staying down on ourselves we’ve got to move on and learn from it and get better so we can win this week which I’m sure we will because that’s the type of team we are,” said Moshini.
The Mustangs will look to rebound on the road against Mendocino on Oct 1. For more information on LMC football, visit http://www.losmedanos.edu/football/