Dons Comeback Falls Short in Saturday Night Shootout

Dons Comeback Falls Short in Saturday Night Shootout

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Santa Ana College Football team hosted Victor Valley College in its home opener at Eddie West Field/Santa Ana Stadium on Saturday night.

It was an exciting game to say the least, as the Dons and Rams racked up a combined 96 points and 885 yards of offense on the night.

The Rams got on the board first with an interception return for a touchdown by Ahjon White to make it 7-0. They added to that lead with a 12-yard touchdown catch from Marlon Dorsey to go up by two touchdowns.

On the ensuing possession, freshman wide receiver Nick Gallardo returned the kickoff 85 yards to jump-start the Dons and bring life back into the stadium. The Dons trailed 14-6 after the failed extra point.

In the second quarter, Victor Valley responded with three touchdowns while Santa Ana came up with a field goal and two touchdowns, capped by a 13-yard pass from Conner Miller to Devon Jr. with just two seconds left on the clock. The last drive from the Dons took just 26 seconds for the score, cutting the deficit at the half to 35-23.

After each defense earned a stop to begin the second half, the Rams found the end zone first to extend their lead to 42-23. Santa Ana then began to chip away at that lead, starting with a 48-yard touchdown from the Miller-Jackson Jr. combination followed by holding the Rams to a field goal and then a 19-yard rushing touchdown from Deven Boston to bring the score to 45-37.

Victor Valley countered with a rushing touchdown from Sean White to start the fourth but with all the Dons offensive firepower the game wasn't done yet.

Efrem Douglass Jr. brought the Dons back to striking distance when he caught a 10-yard pass from Miller to cut the lead to eight points (52-44) once again. The Santa Ana defense came up with a huge stop on the Rams following possession to set up what would be a historic comeback.

With 1:33 left to go, the Dons started their drive at their own 33-yard line. They quickly marched down to the Victor Valley 26-yard line and called a timeout on fourth down with five seconds remaining. Conner Miller tried for his fifth passing touchdown of the day but the pass was incomplete intended for Efrem Douglass Jr., ending the game with Victor Valley winning 52-44.

Miller went 23 for 46 in the air for 288 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. His primary targets were Devon Jackson Jr. who had nine catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns, and Brandon Quinones who posted six catches for 98 yards and a score. On the ground, Deven Boston ran for 111 yards and a touchdown.

The Dons drop to 1-2 with the loss and will look to get back on track when they host Allan Hancock next Saturday at 4:00 p.m.