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Fourth-quarter rally comes up short, Vikings fall to San Diego Mesa 45-34

Zack Leets hauls in an amazing touchdown catch against San Diego Mesa (Photo by Joseph Kling/
Zack Leets hauls in an amazing touchdown catch against San Diego Mesa (Photo by Joseph Kling/

In a battle of two even-matched teams, Long Beach City College come out on the losing end 45-34 contest to visiting San Diego Mesa College on Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

San Diego Mesa (3-1) built up a 17-7 lead in the second quarter that the Vikings could never overcome. Long Beach got within three points on two separate occasion in the Saturday's game but couldn't get the big stop on defense to halt the Olympians.

Blaze McKibbin completed 16 of 26 passes for 209 yards, including a pair of touchdowns to Zack Leets. The pair connected for a 20-yard TD at the 5:02 mark in the second quarter that got Long Beach within striking distance at 24-21 as the teams went into halftime.

Mesa extended its lead to 31-21 with a two-yard Cael Patterson touchdown run as time expired in the third quarter. Long Beach responded with an eight-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a 10-yard Elijah David TD run to get the Vikings back within three at 31-28 with 12:39 to play in the fourth.

But the Olympians put the game out of reach with a pair of touchdowns, including a grinding six-minute scoring drive that gave Mesa a commanding 45-28 advantage.

Long Beach was able to salvage a touchdown as time expired. Elijah Davis scampered in from two yards out to close out the game.

Davis ran eight time for 41 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Rodney Clemente Jr. led LBCC on the ground with 103 yards rushing on 14 carries. Leets have a game-high five receptions for 102 yards.

Tanner Nelson led the Vikings on defense with eight tackles (7 solo) and a pair of broken up passes while Jayden (JD) Davis had seven tackles, an interception, and one pass break up.

Long Beach, now 2-2 overall, returns to action next Saturday (Oct. 2) at 1 p.m. when the Vikings take on Golden West College in Huntington Beach.