SANTA ANA, Calif. – After dropping their 2017 home opener to Victory Valley last week, the Santa Ana College Football team looked to get back on track when hosting Allan Hancock College on Saturday afternoon.
Santa Ana was 1-2 going into week four after coming up just short in last week's comeback. Allan Hancock walked into the match with a 2-1 record with wins over East LA and Pasadena City.
The two teams were ready to put on a show at Santa Ana Stadium, which they did in the first half.
Allan Hancock had started with good field position on their first drive after forcing the Dons to go three and out on the first drive of the game. The Bulldogs drove 59 yards, finishing the drive with a six-yard rushing touchdown from Damon Whitmill.
Another three and out from the Dons offense resulted in more points for the Bulldogs, as they went up 10-0 after ending their second drive with a 34-yard field goal from Jordan Pollard.
The Dons offense woke up on their next drive when they went to their key weapons for a quick score. Conner Miller connected with Devon Jackson Jr. for a 38-yard gain to set the stage for a big run from Deven Boston, as he broke loose for a 34-yard rushing touchdown and brought the score to 10-7.
Santa Ana seemed to take some of the momentum back but Bulldog quarterback Jimmy Kelleher responded by completing four passes on the next drive and then ran for a touchdown on a sneak to extend the Bulldog lead. The score was 16-7 after the extra point was blocked by Patrick Campbell.
On the Don next drive, Conner Miller was sacked by Taupule Asotau, which resulted in a fumble that was recovered by the Bulldogs. Allan Hancock capitalized on the turnover with another rushing touchdown, this time by Isaac Bausley which made it 22-7. Santa Ana was able to block another kick to keep the score the same.
The Dons found some success in the second quarter and cut into the Bulldog lead when Deven Boston caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Connor Miller to start the quarter off. After getting a stop from the SAC defense, the Dons put a few more points on the board with a 31-yard field goal from Porfirio Hernandez, bringing the score to 22-17.
By the end of the half, the Dons would cut the deficit to two (22-20) after another stop and field goal.
Santa Ana came out of halftime looking to sustain the recent success they had on defense but Ryheem Skinner of the Bulldogs had different plans, as he scored the first touchdown of the half with a 27-yard rush to bring the score to 29-20.
A few Don mistakes, including an interception and a lost fumble, led to Santa Ana trailing 43-20 with 5:01 remaining in the third. The Dons offense would have to start clicking if they wanted to have a chance in this one.
Brandon Quinones caught a seven-yard touchdown on the Dons next drive, giving Santa Ana hope as they trailed 43-28, still in reach of the Bulldogs with a whole quarter of football left.
The Dons pulled off yet another blocked field goal, earning a stop to give the Don offense the ball again with 12:04 left in the game. SAC marched to the Allan Hancock 27-yard line before making the decision to go for it on fourth down and 11. A pass to Deven Boston for seven yards was not enough, as the Dons turned the ball over on downs. Allan Hancock took advantage and scored on their next possession to essentially put the game out of reach.
Santa Ana would put up some more points but eventually fell to the Bulldogs 50-35. The Dons drop to 1-3 on the season and the Bulldogs improve to 3-1.
The leaders for the Dons offense were Conner Miller, who passed for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns and Deven Boston, who ran for 116 yards and a rushing touchdown to go along with four catches, 64 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. The top receiver for the Dons was Devon Jackson Jr., as he went for four catches, 141 yards and a touchdown.
Dons Football will go on the road for their next matchup on Saturday, Sept. 30 at East Los Angeles College with a game time set for 6:00 p.m.