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Lackawanna, Monroe fall in bowls

No. 2 Lackawanna and No. 18 Monroe suffered losses in the NJCAA postseason. Recaps follow:

No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast 24, No. 2 Lackawanna 13
PITTSBURG, Kansas - Dec. 5, 2019 - Lackawanna held a 13-10 lead after three quarters but saw No. Mississippi Gulf Coast rally for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and record a 24-13 win Thursday night in the NJCAA eTeamSponsor Football Championship at Carnie Smith Stadium.

Lackawanna entered the game having won 22-straight contests, a streak that started in 2017 with a seven-point win over Georgia Military. The Falcons end the season 10-1. Mississippi Gulf Coast ends at 12-0.

For more on the contest, visit NJCAA.

After trailing 10-0, Lackawanna's defense sacked the MGC quarterback and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Gianni Gamble. Matt Cavallaro then hit Jael Negron with an 8-yard touchdown pass to make it 10-7.. The Falcons' defense, which scored eight touchdowns to lead the NJCAA in the regular season, gave Lackawanna a 13-7 lead when Pheldarious Payne returned a fumble 14 yards for a touchdown. Brandon Hickerson-Rooks recorded the sack that set up Payne's touchdown.

The Falcons lost four turnovers.

Hickerson-Rooks recorded 10 tackles (9 solo/1 assist) as he recorded five tackles for loss. Tyler Long led the Falcons with 16 tackles (4 solo/12 assists).

Lackawanna in NJCAA Championship game Lackawanna in NJCAA Championship game

Photos courtesy of NJCAA/Derek Livingston.


No. 3 Hutchinson 45, No. 18 Monroe 23 HUTCHINSON, Kansas - Dec. 7, 2019 - No. 13 Hutchinson scored 17-straight points in the second quarter to built a 31-10 lead on its way to record a 45-23 win over No. 18 Monroe in the Salt City Bowl at Gowans Stadium.

Hutchinson and Monroe both scored on their first possessions of the contest. The Mustangs scored on a 55-yard pass from NEFC Offensive Player of the Year Dominique Shoffner to Lucas Nunez to tie the game, 7-7. After Hutchinson scored on its next possession, the Mustangs' next points came on a 27-yard field goal by Idrissa Nikiema with 2:19 to play in the first quarter.

Monroe's Tim Donnahue was awarded the Defensive MVP with 11 tackles and three pass breakups, both game-highs.

Clayton Scott added a touchdown run in the third quarter for Monroe, which closes the season 8-3. Shoffner completed 12 of 34 passes for 183 yards. Nunez finished with five receptions for 116 yards.

Tiyon Evans set a Salt City Bowl record with 194 rushing yards. He added two rushing touchdowns and was awarded the Offensive MVP.

Hutchinson quarterback Mark Wright three three first-half passing touchdowns, including a 74-yard strike to Erin Collins in the first quarter.