Santa Barbara, CA - The Citrus College Football team's offense rolled up 500 total yards of offense and freshman running back Devin Floyd accounted for 288 yards of it, but it wasn't enough as the Owls lost a double overtime heartbreaker. Santa Barbara City College would block Citrus' extra point after the Owls score in the first half of the second overtime, and then would score five plays later to hand Citrus a 46-44 defeat.
The game didn't feature a lot of scoring in the first half, as it wasn't until the second half that things really picked up. Still Citrus took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter after sophomore Lawon Carney carried the ball in from 10 yards out.
Santa Barbara would tie the game up to start out the second quarter, but the Owls went back out in front with 1:43 left in the half after sophomore quarterback Brian Meyette found sophomore Henry Tarin for a five-yard score. The Vaqueros proved their tenacity soon afterwards as they marched 63 yards in seven plays and just 1:35 to kick a 33 yard field goal just before the horn sounded to go into the break trailing Citrus 10-14.
Citrus would come out of halftime firing, adding to their lead when Meyette found freshman Manuel Lua for a 37 yard strike. Santa Barbara would promptly engage in a 12 play five minute drive that resulted in another Vaquero touchdown to make it 17-21. Meyette and Co. had their own answer though when they used a 12 play drive that lasted 5:46 to go back in front by 11 after Meyette found freshman Dexter Hunt from three yards away.
The Vaqueros would start out the fourth quarter with another touchdown, but the Owls pushed their lead back to a touchdown after freshman kicker Carlos Benites hit a 37 yard field goal to make it 31-24 with 9:17 to go. Needing a stop, the Owl defense came up huge, stopping Santa Barbara at the Citrus 37 yard line, giving the Owls offense the ball back.
The Citrus offense would march back down the field arriving at the Santa Barbara 27, facing a 3rd and 1. The Owls handed the ball off to Floyd on back-to-back plays, but the Vaqueros stuff the box and Floyd, who was unstoppable for the vast majority of the game, was held to no-gains on both plays giving Santa Barbara the ball back with 2:34 to go.
Once again, the Citrus defense would come up with another big stop, this time when freshman Demontez Carlton picked off a Vaquero pass at the 50 yard line. Carlton would return the ball 11 yards, but fumbled and Santa Barbara recovered giving them new life. This time the Vaqueros made the most of their chance, going 61 yards and tying the game up with 24 seconds to go.
In overtime, Santa Barbara would need just five plays to score on their first drive. The Owls responded even quicker, getting a 18 yard completion from Meyette to Lua and then a seven yard touchdown run from Floyd to keep overtime going.
On Citrus' second possession, the Owls would need some more time to make things happen, but they eventually scored with Meyette finding Tarin again. On the ensuing extra point though, Benites had his kick blocked and the Vaqueros returned it 98 yards for two points. Needing just a touchdown, trailing 40-44, Santa Barbara got just that five plays later.
In the loss, Meyette was 14 for 22 for 221 yards and four scores. Floyd carried the ball 32 times for 219 yards (6.8 ypc), and caught a pass for 69 yards. Defensively, freshman Henry Pigee had a game high 16 tackles. Freshman Tyrique Faatiliga added 11, including a sack. Sophomore Aubrey Coleman rounded out the superlatives with his best statistical game of the year, recording nine tackles, a sack, and a pass break-up.
With the loss, Citrus drops to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play. The Owls will have a tough task on their hands next Saturday when they travel to American Division #1 Los Angeles Valley College for a 6:00 PM showdown with the Monarchs.