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Mt. San Antonio College wins second consecutive state title

A college football powerhouse has been established in Southern California, but it’s not located off Sunset Boulevard or Figueroa Street.

It’s in Walnut, where Mt. San Antonio College (13-0) captured its second consecutive state title with a dominating 34-7 victory over visiting City College of San Francisco (11-1) in the California Community College Athletic Assn. championship game Saturday.

The Mounties, the four-time defending Southern California champions, also captured their second straight unofficial national title after entering the game as the top-ranked team in the JCGridwire.com national rankings.

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“Everyone has been here before and this team was ready to play today,” Mt. SAC Coach Robert Jastrab said. “Each year we come in with the goal of winning the state championship, and these guys just find a way to get it done.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt having NCAA Division I talent on the roster, and that’s what Jastrab has in quarterback Nick Lamaison.

The former West Covina South Hills star completed 23 of 33 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown to spearhead Mt. SAC’s offensive effort en route to winning the game’s most-valuable-player award. It was a nice way to close out what started as a frustrating year when Lamaison decided to leave Tennessee after first-year Coach Derek Dooley made him the team’s No. 3 quarterback after spring camp.

“I just knew Tennessee wasn’t the place for me anymore,” said Lamaison, who was recruited to the Volunteers by current USC Coach Lane Kiffin. “The decision to come back here was a little tough, at first. There’s always a little bit of second-guessing, and I was wondering if I made the right decision. But after the season we just had, my teammates and my coaches have reaffirmed in me that I made the right choice.”

The Mounties’ defensive effort also played a central role in helping the squad post their 19th consecutive victory.

San Francisco, which entered the game with the state’s top-ranked offense, was held to a season-low 260 yards of total offense. Mt. SAC held the Rams’ reputed running game to 36 yards and sacked quarterback Steele Jantz eight times. Despite throwing two interceptions, Jantz managed to have a decent game, completing 21 of 48 passes for 224 yards.

Running back Marcus Wagner scored the Mounties’ first touchdown on a 20-yard run less than three minutes into the game before Jeremy Brown hit field goals of 41 and 42 yards to give them a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. Running back Bryce McBride then scored two touchdowns over a span of 2 minutes 3 seconds to put the Mounties ahead, 27-0, at halftime.

San Francisco scored late in the third quarter on a five-yard pass from Jantz to receiver Josh Fales. But the Mounties matched it minutes later when Lamaison found receiver Michael Edwards in the end zone on a 22-yard pass.

“It’s been an incredible season… It’s always great when you can finish on top,” Jastrab said.

austin.knoblauch@latimes.com


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