LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In its first American Metro League game of the season, the Santa Ana College football team outdueled LA Southwest College to pick up a 36-31 win.
The Dons began the game with a promising drive down the field, pushing the ball all the way to the LASW one yard line. But on fourth down, the Cougars stopped the run short of the endzone to keep the game scoreless and change the possession on downs.
Two plays later, LASW got on the board with a 98 yard pass from Cameron Thomas to Deion Malone to make it a 6-0 game following a missed extra point.
Santa Ana responded on their next possession with a 65 yard drive that ended in a four yard touchdown run from Cross Faletoi.
After a field goal from the Cougars, the Dons jumped ahead again as Faletoi connected on a pass with Joshua Rice for a six yard touchdown to give SAC a 14-9 lead before halftime.
The second half was full of big plays, starting with 70 touchdown run from the Cougar quarterback Thomas to set the score a 16-14 in LA Southwest's favor.
SAC continued to answer back as they used a six play, 51 yard drive with Cole Nequette punching in a two yard run to take back the lead. The Dons then used that momentum to get a couple stops and a critical touchdown from Rice to extend their lead to 28-16 with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter.
LASW's Thomas came right back with his second passing touchdown of the game to begin the fourth quarter, cutting the SAC lead to 28-23.
But the Dons found a way to put one more in the endzone as Christopher Garcia ran in a six yard touchdown to seal the game at the 4:30 mark of the fourth.
The Dons used two quarterbacks in this one with Faletoi going 16-25 with 154 passing yards while Garcia took the helm down the stretch, finishing 6-11 with 58 yards. Both quarterbacks had a passing and rushing touchdown.
Cole Nequette rushed for 95 yards on 25 attempts to lead all SAC backs. Rice pulled down two touchdowns to go with eight catches and 67 yards while Tyler Shimomura caught seven passes for 65 yards to help the Dons aerial attack.
The Dons recorded 476 yards of offense and scored at least 30 points for the third time this season.
With the win, the Dons improve to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in league play while the Cougars drop to 0-6, 0-2.
NEXT UP: Santa Ana football will return home for another American Metro League game when they host West LA (3-3, 2-0) at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 19th.