Raiders Deliver Knockout Blow

Running back Kyle Merritt rushed for nine yards on four carries for a 2.2-yard average. / Courtesy of SAC Athletics
Running back Kyle Merritt rushed for nine yards on four carries for a 2.2-yard average. / Courtesy of SAC Athletics

By:  Jorge Campos and Ricardo Hernandez

After failing to score in the second half, the Dons wasted a solid showing by the defense and lost 17-10 to the visiting Moorpark Raiders Sept. 21 at Santa Ana Stadium.

“Defensively, we played really well. Probably well enough to win,” Head Coach Geoff Jones said.

Moorpark wide receiver Raymond Bolden caught a 35‑yard pass from quarterback Nick Davis for the lone score of the second half.

Bolden was wide open with no defenders within 10 yards.  The blown coverage proved to be costly.

Dons quarterback Mike Chislock struggled against the Raiders’ defense, completing only five of 20 attempts for 54 yards. Chislock also threw one interception and ran for negative six yards on four attempts.

Moorpark quarterback Nick Davis led the Raiders’ attack, completing 24 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns. Moorpark’s offense clicked, converting on three fourth downs, as Bolden pulled in seven receptions for 95 yards, including a score.

The Dons struggled on offense but managed to find the end zone on a 24-yard scramble by quarterback Shane Truelove. Truelove sparked a run, and seemed to command the offense that looked overwhelmed in two previous possessions. He ran for the Dons first touchdown at home this season, which gave the team a short-lived 7-3 lead.

Truelove finished the game 11 of 25 for 132-yards passing and 40-yards rushing on five attempts.

Linebacker Billy Tanuvasa led the defense for the Dons with 13 tackles, including 4.5 for loss. The team combined for 15 tackles for loss resulting in 40 negative yards of offense for the Raiders.

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Defensive backs Allen Atkins and Michael Lilly each intercepted a Davis pass.

The team was short a pass rusher as defensive linemen Jeff Worthy, an Arizona commit, has missed two games with injury.

“It’s different, when you add a guy like that to the interior of a defensive line, everything is different,” Jones said.

Even special teams couldn’t get a break. Raiders punter Kevin McLemore did no favors for the Dons, pitting SAC in its backfield four times with odd rugby-style kicks, including one punt kill at the Dons two-yard line.

“We are sputtering right now, we need to find a way out,” Jones said.

The Dons next play the Homecoming Game at Santa Ana Stadium vs. Saddleback on Saturday at 1 p.m.



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