In a thrilling display defense in overtime, the West LA Wildcats defeated the Santa Ana Dons 44-38 on Saturday. The defensive line refused a score when the Dons were on the one-yard line for two consecutive downs. These two plays were the grand finale to a competitive performance on the defensive end.
“They played their best when we needed them: in overtime on the goal line,” said West L.A. football head coach Marguet Miller. “When we need them to play their best, they did.”
The Wildcats defense made seven tackles for loss for 55 yards, three interceptions and eight pass breakups. West L.A. quarterback Devon Shay made 31 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Davean Randall made 14 carries for 160 yards. Wide receiver Vincent Rankin made nine catches for 18 yards. Defensive lineman Zion Scott made 11 total tackles.
“Defense stepped up today,” said linebacker Markell White. “I’m so grateful to play with those guys and switch over to defense to be able to play with them.”
Santa Ana quarterback Connor Brown made 11 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown and running back Josh Hill made 24 rushes for 93 yards and one touchdown. Wideout Joshua Rice made four catches for 96 yards and a one touchdown and linebacker Zach Otero made seven total tackles.
The Wildcats started slow, fumbles by West L.A. gave Santa Ana 14 points in their first three minutes of the game. On the Wildcats’ next possession, Shay connected with Rankin for the first touchdown.
Defensive back Justin Mason caught an interception for 60 yards for a touchdown. A few plays later Santa Ana countered with a touchdown of their own.
After scoring 21 points in the first quarter, West L.A. only allowed Santa three points. Late in the second quarter, White made a 14-yard touchdown rush, edging the Wildcats’ score to 21.
The Dons went into halftime with a three-point lead and lost their grip on the game as the third quarter went on. Randall’s 52-yard rushing touchdown gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game. West L.A. would score again on their next possession when Shay and Rankin created a 43-yard passing play after six snaps.
“We let up on the gas, but they came back strong,” said Santa Ana wide receiver Joshua Rice. “I feel like they want it more than we did.”
Santa Ana overcame their deficit in the fourth quarter. After the Wildcats scored a field goal, quarterback Brown launched passes that pushed Santa Ana into the West L.A. red zone. Hill rushed in a touchdown from one yard out, but their kick attempt failed.
As regulation was winding down, the Dons kept making long passing plays. With 1:12 left in the fourth quarter, Brown pegged the Santa Ana at 36 on a two-yard scramble. With a successful two-point conversion, the game was tied.
Santa Ana’s offense went first as overtime commenced. Although they made three first downs, the Wildcat defense kept the Dons from scoring. After two passing plays, White made a two-yard scoring rush to win the game.
“It was intense, but we played through it,” Randall said about playing in overtime. “We deserved the win, we fought hard.”
The Wildcats will Have their final home game against the Southwest Cougars on October 20 at 1:00 P.M.