San Bernardino Valley College expected a dogfight Saturday afternoon at Citrus College, and they got one.
And things didn't start well for the Wolverines, as quarterback Armando Herrera was sacked on the first play of the game, then threw an interception returned for a touchdown on the second play.
But the Wolverines settled in, battled hard and pulled out a 42-35 victory over the Owls to seize control of first place in the American Conference Mountain Division standings.
Herrera, who had two interceptions returned for touchdowns on the day, did not have his best passing completion day, but led the Wolverines when it counted. With the Owls' defense clogging things up in the middle of the field, the offense ran through Herrera's arm. He attempted 62 passes - the second-most all time - completing 28 for 409 yards. The Wolverines only ran the ball 16 times in the game.
The Wolverines were down by one with 7:27 remaining, the result of a blocked extra point. But the Wolverines were able to march down the field. Starting at their own 38, the Wolverines took 10 plays to get into the end zone, with Herrera finding Elijah Smith in the end zone for the go-ahead score, and a five-point lead. SBVC went for two, with Jeffrey Proctor taking the snap out of the wildcat, he ran the ball to the line, then jumped and tossed the ball to Josh Evans in the back of the end zone to give San Bernardino a seven-point lead with 5:00 remaining.
Then it was up to the SBVC defense, which was fighting against a big Citrus offensive line all afternoon. The Owls drove down to the SBVC 19-yard-line with just under two minutes remaining. But back-up quarterback Austin Zavala was sacked for a 10-yard loss by Ananias Murphy on third and 3, and Zavala's fourth down pass was incomplete with 1:14 remaining, allowing the Wolverines to run out the clock.
Proctor ended the game with only five carries for 21 yards, but he did score a touchdown. Herrera threw five touchdowns in the game, two to Smith, two to DeJuan Moon and another to Justin Lankford. Smith ended the game with eight catches for 130 yards, and Moon had five catches for 108 yards.
The Wolverines now sit atop the Mountain Division standings with two games to go. SBVC will play Victor Valley College at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Silverado High School, before finishing at home against College of the Desert on Nov. 10.