Los Medanos College head coach Chris Shipe took a gamble in overtime during the team’s most important game of the season and it paid off, as the Mustangs were able to win their first bowl game since 2003, capping off to what many people believe to be one of LMC’s best season’s in their history.
The Mustangs had a record of 9-2, but the most thrilling victory came in the end of the season against the Merced College Blue Devils in the 2017 Living Breath Foundation Bowl.
According to Shipe, star quarterback Sohail Mohsini went down with an injury late in the game. It lead to Timothy Evitt coming into the game when it was tied 21-21 and performing in the most crucial plays of the game.
“Honestly just the first snap was nerve racking, after that it was pretty smooth,” Evitt said. “I was still very aware of the situation though, that we needed to score.”
After Evitt hit a touchdown pass to Craijon Menefee, Shipe said it was now or never commanded his team to go for two points.
Evitt threw the game-winning two point conversion pass, finding the hands of TJ Roberts.
Seconds later, the entire LMC sideline swarmed the field in celebration, as they had won the 2017 Living Breath Foundation Bowl.
“The moments after winning the game is what I’ll remember for a very long time,” Shipe said. “The joy and celebration our players displayed was what they deserved for all the hard work they put forth during the season.”
The Mustangs were well in control of the game up until the last quarter, but blew a 21-7 lead.
“I truly feel that game shouldn’t have been close,” team captain Charlie Ramirez said. “With all the downfalls and doubts people had the extra work we had is what got us through the stress because deep down we knew we would pull through.”
They went 5-0 for the first time in Shipe’s tenure as a member of the coaching staff, and also went undefeated at home.
They had a grand total of eight players make the Pac-7 first team.
Meeko Barjona, who spent last year in crutches after suffering an ACL injury, heartbroken as all he could do was watch his teammates play. But he had a bounce back season, and was one of the the eight players to win first team honors, and did it in unanimous fashion.
“It hurt bad, I felt like I had let down my team because I wasn’t able to compete and contribute,” Barjona said. “It felt good to be back and help the team and the offensive line.”
A plethora of LMC players lead the conference in statistics.
Mohsini lead the Pac-7 in passing yards per game and touchdowns, while also winning the LBF Bowl offensive MVP award. His popular target Jelani Davis was the leader in receiving yards per game and touchdowns.
Linebacker Richie Peralta lead in tackles and defensive back Antione Tanner lead with interceptions, three of them taken back for a touchdown.
While the season comes to an end, the LMC coaching staff will be working hard to recruit new Mustangs to continue the winning.