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Clip: Comets miss opportunities

11/09/2009

Complete article appeared in The Telescope (Jan. 19, 2010)

Missed opportunities by Palomar’s football team cost the Comets their game against Fullerton College. They were unable to capitalize on three turnovers by Fullerton in the fourth quarter. The Comets made it close, and were driving in the fourth quarter, but ended up losing 20-17 on Halloween night.

Palomar was moving the ball in the fourth quarter with 1 minute and 31 seconds left. Two plays later, their drive was stopped when Fullerton cornerback Alex Valdez intercepted Nate Ong’s pass, thus ending the drive and the game for the Comets with a loss at Escondido High School.

“I told (Palomar Head Coach Joe) Early before the game it is going to come down to the last play of the game and it did,” Fullerton Head Coach Tim Burns said. “Both teams played great football, and the game came down to the end like it has the last few years.”

The final minutes were a mirror of that game for the Comets. The defense held Fullerton, and the Comets could not score.

The loss put the Comet’s at 7-2 and 3-2 in Southern Conference. Fullerton moves to 8-1 and 4-0 in Southern Conference and has its eye on the championship.

“This is a big win for us,” Burns said. “We now have two games left and we should win our conference if we take care of business. Palomar is a great football team and we just got lucky enough to win tonight.”

Early was clearly disheartened after the loss.

“This was frustrating for all of us,” Early said. “The guys are down, and they should be. We’ll have to see what we learn from this for next time.”

Both teams started slowly and could only muster a field goal going into the second quarter.

“Their defense did a good job at stopping our run game. Our special teams had some lapses, but we played hard and brought it down to the end,” Early said.

Fullerton scored in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by tailback Kenny Turner to take a 10-3 lead. They added another field goal just before halftime to increase their lead to 13-3.

Fullerton scored again on its opening drive in the third quarter, when Turner caught a screen pass and ran 42 yards for a touchdown. Fullerton took a commanding 20-3 lead.

The Comets found their stride and scored on their next possession, when Matt Christian found Martavious Lee down the sideline for a 69-yard gain to the Fullerton 3-yard line. Running back Orenzo Davis scored to make it 20-10.

Christian threw to wide receiver Javon Reynolds two series later to pull Palomar within three at 20-17.

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