Dons Rally in Second Half but Fall Short of SoCal Bowl Comeback

Dons Rally in Second Half but Fall Short of SoCal Bowl Comeback

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Santa Ana College Football team drove down to San Diego for the 2017 SoCal Bowl game against San Diego Mesa College on Saturday night.

San Diego Mesa earned the right to host after slightly edging out Santa Ana the RPI rankings to take the third seed in the SCFA American Division. That advantage seemed to carry a lot of weight, as they took most of the momentum from the start of the game to build a 37-13 lead by halftime.

With their backs against the wall, the Dons decided to take a stand and fight back in the third quarter. Dons quarterback Conner Miller hit his top receiver Devon Jackson Jr. for a 10-yard touchdown for the first score of the quarter to cut the lead to 37-20. The two connected again for another touchdown with 12:23 remaining in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 37-27.

The Dons kept things rolling, getting stops their defense and finishing their offensive drives to eventually pull within three (37-34) with 3:07 left to play. After another stop from the Dons defense, the Olympians would punt to give the Dons the ball. Unfortunately, Santa Ana would fumble on the punt return, losing the ball and their shot to complete the comeback.

For the Dons, Conner Miller was named the SAC player of the game after throwing for 238 yards with three touchdowns in the air. He also ran for 64 yards with a rushing touchdown. Deven Boston did his part to spark the Dons, running for 100 yards and a touchdown while receiver Devon Jackson Jr. caught nine passes for 124 and two touchdowns.

Santa Ana ends the season with an overall record of 7-4 but went 6-0 in the American Metro League to earn their first-ever league championship. The Dons look forward to getting better and playing their way to another bowl game next year.