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Southwestern, Chaffey to meet in JC conference football championship game Phillip Brents | Thu, Nov 14 2013 01:22 PM

There’s no question that the Southwestern College football program has taken the step to the next level. That was made evident when the Jaguars defeated Santa Monica to win last year’s American Championship bowl game, and is further made evident by the school’s major upgrade to Devore Stadium.

The Jaguars continue to set the standard in 2013. Coach Ed Carberry’s team will play for the American/Mountain Conference championship title on Saturday when it hosts Chaffey. Both teams are undefeated in conference play.

Kick off is 6 p.m. at Olympian High School.

Southwestern improved to 6-0 in conference play, 8-1 overall, after squeezing out a tenuous 31-30 win at Victor Valley last Saturday.

The Jags twice roared back from 10-point deficits – 10-0 and 24-14 – before nosing ahead 31-27 early in the fourth quarter.

Victor Valley pulled to within three points on a field goal with eight minutes to play but was unable to score the go-ahead touchdown as the game wound down to a close.

Despite the tight score, the Jags dominated the game statistically with 31 first downs to Victor Valley’s 17 first downs. Southwestern made 11 of 21 third down conversions (52 percent) while Victor Valley was 0-for-12.

SWC also owned nearly seven more minutes of possession time.

Quarterback Frank Foster threw for one touchdown and ran for another (what proved to be the game-winner), while Diderot Nemorin  (seven yards) and DeSean Waters (one yard) each scored on touchdown runs and Anthony Herrera kicked a 30-yard field goal.

Foster completed 26 of 43 passing attempts for 305 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His leading receiver on the day was J. Dickinson Gaines, who hauled in 11 aerials for 153 yards and one score.

Cedrick Agyeman led Southwestern on the ground with 19 carries for 89 yards.

Herrera, who also supplied two extra-point conversions in the game, recorded three touchbacks on five kickoffs.

David Clark helped key the victors’ defensive effort with one pick while Daniel Castro led the visitors with nine unassisted tackles. Ray Clapper and Alfonso Hampton combined on the Jags’ lone sack of the game.

Chaffey (6-0, 8-1) maintained pace with Southwestern by defeating host San Diego Mesa, 40-6, on Saturday. Dimitri Morales led the visitors with 178 passing yards and three touchdowns. Special teams accounted for 14 points as Martee Witt scored on a 67-yard kickoff return and Chris Moberg scored on a 19-yard interception return.

Chaffey’s defense also got in the act with a safety. Chaffey racked up a 423-273 edge in total offensive yards.

Southwestern defeated Mesa, 35-0, earlier this season.

The Jags have won seven consecutive games; Chaffey has won eighth straight.

Carberry noted his team leads the conference in touchdowns, fewest points allowed and turnover ratio. Southwestern broke open a scoreless game with 28 unanswered points in claiming a 42-6 victory at Mt. San Jacinto on Nov. 2.

“The defense was awesome again,” Carberry wrote in his online blog. “We were 35 seconds away from our third shutout in a row. The Eagles were giant on the offensive line but our defense was too fast for them as we forced them into minus total offensive yards for the game.”

The Jags emerged from the Mt. San Jacinto game with the No. 1 defense in the state, Carberry was quick to note. Castro, a Sweetwater grad, blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown against the Eagles.

“Traveling to the inland community of Hemet for a 1 p.m. game was a big challenge but (we) were up to the task,” Carberry said.

An even bigger challenge awaits on Saturday.

Fear the spear

San Diego State will attempt to be the only school in the nation this season to recover from a 0-3 start to become bowl game eligible providing the Aztecs can win Saturday’s game in Hawaii. SDSU overcame an 11-point deficit with two fourth quarter scores to shock host San Jose State, 34-30, last Saturday.

At 5-4, the Aztecs need to collect one more win in their remaining three regular season games to become bowl eligible. SDSU has advanced to a postseason bowl game in each of the last three years, winning the 2010 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl over Navy.

Fresno State (9-0 overall) continues to lead the Mountain West Conference West Division with a 6-0 record, followed by the Aztecs (4-1), SJSU (4-2), UNLV (3-3), Nevada (2-5) and Hawaii (0-6).

Utah State (6-4 overall) leads the MW-Mountain Division standings at 5-12, followed by Boise State (4-1), Colorado State (3-2), Wyoming (2-3), New Mexico (1-4) and Air Force (0-6). Boise State is 6-3 overall while Colorado State is 5-5, Wyoming is 4-5 and New Mexico is 3-6.

The MW’s West and Mountain division champions will meet in the conference championship game. The MW has tie-ins to six bowl games and there is the possibility that as many as seven MC teams could be bowl eligible.

Should Fresno State emerge as the MW champion and receive a BCS bowl invitation that would give the MC an additional bowl game berth.

SDSU hosts Boise State Nov. 23 and plays at UNLV on Nov. 30 to close out regular season play.

Former Eastlake standout Aaron Baltazar has rushed 50 times this season for Boise State, accumulating 234 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his TDs came in a 41-40 loss at Fresno State on Sept. 20. However, he hasn’t played in the Broncos’ last four games due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

In fact, Baltazar has been ruled out for the rest of the season, according to BSU coach Chris Petersen, putting a hold on the ex-Titans’ highly anticipated homecoming.

American Division Mountain Conference Standings
Southwestern 6-0, 8-1
Chaffey 6-0, 8-1
San Bernardino Valley 4-2, 7-2
Victor Valley 3-3, 5-4
Mt. San Jacinto 3-3, 4-5
East Los Angeles 1-5, 2-7
San Diego Mesa 1-5, 2-7
Compton 0-6, 0-9

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