The San Bernardino Valley College football team racked up 459 yards of total offense Saturday night, and held the conference’s No. 1 team, San Diego Mesa, to only 293.
But on the scoreboard, it was the Olympians who ended up on top, as San Diego Mesa kicked a fourth-quarter field goal then held on for a 41-38 victory at SBVC Stadium.
The Olympians took the lead on a 30-yard field goal by Ronnie Ochoa with 4:58 to go in the game. San Bernardino answered, driving the ball back to the Mesa 29-yard line, where they stalled. On fourth down and 9, the Wolverines lined up with their offense, in what coach Daniel Algattas said was a ploy to try and draw Mesa offside. When the center saw a Mesa player enter the neutral zone, he snapped the ball, but no flag was thrown, forcing quarterback Armando Herrera to scramble. He was stopped at the line of scrimmage, effectively ending the game with 2:02 remaining.
Down 31-24 at the half, the Wolverines rallied, scoring the first two touchdowns of the second half. Kellen Pachot ran the ball in from 2 yards out on a play out of the Wildcat offense on fourth and goal to tie the game.
Then, with Mesa driving, Nick Como intercepted Spencer Moyer and returned it 65 yards to give the Wolverines the lead.
But Mesa drove right back, aided by five San Bernardino penalties. Logan Vallo ended the drive with a 3-yard run, tying the game.
Penalties were a problem all night for both teams, as San Bernardino committed 22 for 167 yards, while Mesa committed 16 for 207 yards.
But the biggest downfall for the Wolverines was turnovers. They gave the ball up six times in the game, while only taking the ball away from Mesa three times.
Herrera had another big yardage game passing, completing 28 of 57 passes for 354 yards and three scores. But his four interceptions – one returned for a touchdown – gave Mesa short fields to work with throughout the game.
Vallo led the way for Mesa, running the ball 28 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns.