News, sports, entertainment and opinions about the Moorpark College community

Moorpark College Reporter

News, sports, entertainment and opinions about the Moorpark College community

Moorpark College Reporter

News, sports, entertainment and opinions about the Moorpark College community

Moorpark College Reporter

Moorpark College secures first home win of the season over Mt. San Jacinto

The+Moorpark+College+Raiders+line+up+just+seconds+before+a+return+kick+in+the+second+quarter.+Moorpark+would+go+on+to+beat+Mt.+San+Jacinto+33-26+on+Sept.+16%2C+2023.+Photo+credit%3A+Aldo+Emanuel
The Moorpark College Raiders line up just seconds before a return kick in the second quarter. Moorpark would go on to beat Mt. San Jacinto 33-26 on Sept. 16, 2023. Photo credit: Aldo Emanuel

 

As a light evening mist descended on Griffin Stadium on Sept. 16, 2023, the Moorpark Raiders fought tooth and nail for their first home win this season.

Following last year’s bitter 60-30 defeat at the hands of the Mt. San Jacinto Eagles, there was much anticipation for the outcome on Saturday, especially now that the Raiders have moved up a division.

After three minutes and three penalties, sophomore quarterback Macloud Crowton beamed a 13-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Tyson Moten for the Raiders’ first touchdown. Followed by a good conversion from kicker Daniel Burke, the score rested at 7-0.

However, a Sisyphean drive from the Eagles that fell 13-yards short of a touchdown still led to a field goal on their fourth down, with the score standing at 7-3 Moorpark at 8:30 in the first quarter.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, their drive was cut short by an impactful interception by Mt. San Jacinto’s sophomore defensive back, Carsten Mamaril, who went on to run 50-yards for the Eagles’ first touchdown. This drive and a good kick left the Raiders trailing 7-10.

Stagnation would continue to plague the Raiders for the rest of the first quarter until a fumble was recovered by the Eagles at the 6:41 minute mark. Another long drive and four first downs eventually led the Eagles to yet another field goal from the 19-yard line, pushing their lead to 13.

The spirit of the Raiders, however, is not easily broken. Sophomore safety Curtis Jackson had a few words to say about what makes this Raiders team stand out amongst their opponents.

“When we can look out for each other and become a real brotherhood, I truly believe we’re unstoppable,” Jackson said. “I know there’s some great teams here, but with the way we play and the way we work as one, no one can really compete with us.”

With just over three minutes elapsed in the second quarter, Jackson intercepted a pass and made a 23-yard run, leading to a successful drive that resulted in another touchdown for the Raiders. Again, Burke’s kick was good, and Moorpark took a small lead of 14-13.

This momentum carried over in the form of a terrifying defense against the Eagles. For almost seven minutes, they attempted to make progress toward the Raiders’ end zone but were completely shut out. The end of their drive saw a sack, a false start and a field goal attempt that ended in disaster when it was emphatically blocked by the entire Raider defense.

The Eagles would not go down without a fight, though. On Moorpark’s subsequent drive, a fumble was recovered by the Eagles at the Raiders’ 30-yard line, leading to another devastating pick-6. The following kick was good, and the Eagles were back up 14-20.

This lead would not last, as a monstrous 60-yard pass from Crowton to sophomore wide receiver Noah Cronquist led to a touchdown for the Raiders, followed by another good conversion by Kicker Burke to take the lead, 21-20.

After a safety was awarded to the Raiders in the third quarter, and unsuccessful drives from both Moorpark and Mt. San Jacinto, Cronquist returned a punt and ran 70-yards for another touchdown to take a commanding 30-20 lead, after Burke’s kick succeeded.

Though the Eagles scored another touchdown to start the fourth quarter, it was not enough to defeat the Raiders on their home turf. Burke sealed the game with one last good field goal, racking up a final score of 33-26.

Athletic Director Matt Crater reflected on the result of Saturday’s contest and the Raiders winning at home for the first time this season.

“For us to come back, have them here and do this is a lot of fun, we played well,” Crater said regarding the Raiders beating the Eagles at home.

Moorpark Head Coach Mike Stuart spoke about their competition Saturday, highlighting the talent that the Raiders found themselves up against and how this win impacts the team.

“That’s a good football team,” Stuart said about Mt. San Jacinto. “We played them last year, and lost 60-30, so to come back and see the progress we’ve made from last year to this year, that’s where the momentum is.”

The Moorpark Raiders will play their next game on Sept. 23, 2023 against the El Camino Warriors in Murdock Stadium. Click here for the full Raiders schedule and more information.

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About the Contributor
Aldo Emanuel
Aldo Emanuel, Staff Writer
Aldo Emanuel is a staff writer for the Moorpark Reporter. He is a journalism student planning on transferring to a university in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree. He has a background in creative writing and a well-rounded knowledge of both sports and music. If he’s not too busy, you’ll probably find him playing basketball or cooking up some tagliatelle. Maybe Spam, too.