September 26, 2003

Jaguars Travel to San Bernardino and Win Conference Opener

Southwestern College overcomes seven turnovers, starts to come together

Usually when a team turns the ball over seven times, and has six penalties for 55 yards, that team ends up on the losing end of the contest – usually.

Playing in the smoggy confines of Wolverine stadium in Riverside, the Jaguars’ fumbled the ball four times and threw three interceptions, but yet managed to still dominate the San Bernardino Valley College Wolverines, 47-16, during last Saturday’s Foothill Conference opener.

“That (overcoming the turnovers and the penalties) proves what coach Justice tells us is true… we can overcome anything,” said Jaguars left tackle Ernie Pelayo (La Sierra, CA). “We have a couple of things that we need to work on, but they will be corrected by the next game.”

The Jaguars’ defense, ranked number 10 in the state, was relentless throughout the entire game. It allowed 247 total yards and forced six turnovers. Defensive end Nwag-buo Ogemdi (Mount Miguel) touchdown fumble recovery in the end zone early in the second quarter blew the game open, 21-3.

Take away Wolverines running back Lamont Avery 61-yard-touchdown run to make the score 30-10 just before the half, and the Jaguars (1-0, 2-1) only allowed 105 rushing yards and 87 passing yards.

After the first series, the Jaguars defensive coaches noticed that SBVC (0-1, 1-2) was running their running backs from Pro Set, rather then the T set that they had seen on tape. The coaches scrapped their game plan and adjusted.

“We manned up,” said SWC linebacker Myles Bush (El Capitan) who had 14 tackles, 10 solo, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a sack. “We had to adjust and run a new formation (that had not been practiced in the week), but we came together.”

Bush, Foothill Conference player of the week for the second time this season, caused the fumble that Ogemdi recovered in the end zone.

“We practiced harder and we played harder,” said Ogemdi. “Our coaches really prepare us well, and they deserve a lot of the credit.”

Prior to the game, head coach Walt Justice had said that the Jaguars would need to reestablish their running game and score at least 28 points in order to win.

Vernon Jones (E. Henderson, NC) and Andrew Follins (Morse) had a bulk of the yards, 167 yards combined and one touchdown each, but fullback Anthony Carucci (Deer Park, NY), Andre Buggs (Eastlake), DeMarcus Small (Eastlake) and quarterback turned wide receiver David Bellinger (Mar Vista) contributed to the Jaguars 278 rushing yards. Carucci and Buggs added touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Buggs’ touchdown came on the heels of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, called one right after the other, to put the game away, 40-16.

Seeing the Wolverines inability to protect the ball and their ability to draw penalties, 16 for 140 yards, it is easy to see why the Jaguars overcame their mistakes, but take nothing away from the Jaguars impressive win – because it was impressive.

“Anytime you can travel to San Bernardino and get a win you are satisfied…,” said Justice. “It’s nice to be 2-1 and 1-0 in conference. A first since I’ve been here.”

This Saturday, the Jaguars host Antelope Valley College at 5 p.m. in DeVore Stadium. The Marauders (0-1, 1-2) are 2-13 in their last 15 games. They are ranked last in the conference in both offense and defense.

Foothill Standings

W-L-T W-L-T Pts for avg. Pts against avg.
Grossmont 1 - 0 - 0 3 - 0 - 0 98 32.0 32 10.7
Chaffey 1 - 0 - 0 2 - 1 - 0 100 33.0 62 20.7
Southwestern 1 - 0 - 0 2 - 1 - 0 99 33.0 64 21.3
Victor Valley 1 - 0 - 0 2 - 1 - 0 86 28.7 77 25.7
College/Desert 0 - 0 - 0 1 - 1 - 0 53 26.5 46 23.0
Antelope Valley 0 - 1 - 0 1 - 2 - 0 72 24.0 119 39.7
San Bernardino 0 - 1 - 0 1 - 2 - 0 45 15.0 86 28.7
San Diego Mesa 0 - 1 - 0 1 - 2 - 0 74 24.7 82 27.3
Mt. San Jacinto 0 - 1 - 0 0 - 3 - 0 47 15.7 82 27.3

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