The last time the Southwestern College football team called the Southern California Football Association’s American Mountain Conference home, the Jaguars came away with the goods. Southwestern and San Diego Mesa tied for the 2008 American Mountain Conference title. Both the Jags and Olympians played in bowl games to end the season.
SWC made its return to the AMC a successful one by defeating San Bernardino Valley, 42-3, last Saturday at Olympian High School.
The Jaguars, 1-0 in conference play, improved to 3-1 overall.
“We feel we match up well against everyone we play,” Southwestern head coach Ed Carberry said. “We have to focus on not adding new plays and just working on what we do. We currently lead all of Southern California in total offense.”
The Jags next travel to meet East Los Angeles on Saturday, Sept. 29, before returning “home” to host Mesa on Oct. 13 at Olympian High School.
Both games kick off at 6 p.m.
East L.A. is 0-1 in conference play, 3-1 overall; Mesa is 1-0 in conference play, 2-2 overall.
Mesa defeated El Camino-Compton Center, 28-7, while East L.A. dropped a 35-32 decision to Mt. San Jacinto in other conference openers last week.
Chaffey also is 1-0 in conference after tipping Victor Valley 28-24.
On the rebound
Southwestern managed a successful reboot after suffering its first loss to the season, 47-43, in the final minute of play against Palomar on Sept. 15.
The Jags fell behind the Comets, 21-0, on a fumbled punt return inside the 10-yard line, an interception return for a touchdown, a punt blocked for a scoop and run TD and three other lost fumbles. SWC rebounded with 28 unanswered points to finish at half up 28-24.
“The second half we traded opportunities,” Carberry said. “We scored and got the two-point conversion with 1:30 remaining in the game to go up 43-40. (But) on their final drive of the game, we were called for three 15-yard penalties that positioned Palomar for a great catch and throw to go in front 47-43 to end the game.”
Bryant Mitchell (Mt. Miguel) had 11 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown against the Comets. He built on that performance with eight catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns against SBV.
Vernon Johnson (Brewer/Ft. Worth) had three receptions for 87 yards and one TD last week while Robin Johnson (Eastlake) caught a 34-yard touchdown pass.
SWC signal-caller Brett Nelson (St. Francis) completed 15 attempts for 24 yards and 273 passing yards while Frank Foster (Valhalla) was 13-for-18 with 180 yards and two TD strikes.
Nelson scored the Jags’ lone rushing touchdown of the game. Patrick Mitchell (Morse) led SWC with 48 yards on nine carries.
"Against Palomar, Nelson passed for 355 yards and three TDs while also rushing for a score.
Jordan Jacobs (Coronado) had five catches for 61 yards and Rashad Green (Warner Christian Academy/Daytona Beach) had four catches for 48 yards.
Green caught six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown against Palomar.
Carberry lauded the play of his defense. The Jags held SBV to 63 net yards rushing. “We played great defense until our offense could get on track,” he said.
SWC piled up 31 first downs in the game compared to 21 for the visitors.
The Jags held Palomar to field goals four times last week. Jeremy Burgos (Notre Dame/Chicago) paced the hosts with 12 tackles. He had nine against Palomar.
The Jags also recorded two sacks and forced one fumble.
After a scoreless first quarter, Nelson threw a 63-yard scoring pass to Bryant Mitchell and Foster connected with Robin Johnson for 34 yards as the hosts took a 14-0 halftime lead. SWC tacked on three more touchdowns — two on passes by Nelson and one by Foster — to build a 35-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Nelson hit Mitchell on tosses of 15 and 37 yards for the team’s 14 points in the third quarter. Foster then passed 26 yards to Vernon Johnson for the Jags’ five unanswered touchdown.
SBV’s David Massuere kicked a 33-yard field goal to spoil the hosts’ shutout bid but Nelson answered that with a two-yard scoring run midway through the final quarter.
The Jaguars racked up 471 net passing yards and 189 net rushing yards. “We are trying hard to keep things simple and not get out of sync by being impatient,” Carberry said. “We need to just keep plugging along and the scoring will take care of itself.”
Nathan Drum (Bonita Vista) averaged 46.3 yards on three punts for SWC while Jovan Gonzales (Olympian) was perfect on four PAT conversions.
•Vernon Johnson leads the conference with 132.2 receiving yards per game and nine touchdowns.
•On the season, Nelson has thrown for 1,115 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s been intercepted four times. Foster has accumulated 621 passing yards and six TDs without a pick. He’s been sacked five times.
•Patrick Mitchell leads SWC’s ball-carriers with 245 rushing yards. He has scored three times.
•Bryant Mitchell ranks second on the team with four touchdowns.
•East L.A. quarterback Aaron Cantu leads the conference with 1,648 passing yards and 14 TDs. He’s been picked five times and sacked four times.
•Preston Oliver leads East L.A. with 349 rushing yards and seven TDs.
•Eight different receivers have caught TD passes for East L.A.