Falcons can’t hold fourth-quarter lead, fall 26-16 to Laney

Falcons can’t hold fourth-quarter lead, fall 26-16 to Laney

West Hills College Coalinga was just minutes from earning its first win of the season and knocking off defending state champion Laney College. The Falcons held a narrow two-point lead midway through the fourth quarter before Laney rallied for a pair of touchdowns to beat West Hills 26-16 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Coalinga.

The loss dropped the Falcons to 0-4 on the season. They'll get their next crack at win No. 1 next Saturday (Oct. 5) at 1 p.m. when they host Chabot College (2-2) in their final tune up before conference play.

On Saturday, the Falcons once again got off to a slow start. Laney wasted little time, getting a 51-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dior Walker-Scott to Marcus Hill on the game's opening drive to go out in front. The Eagles went ahead 14-0 after Tyrell Smith ran in from seven yards out for the TD with three minutes to go in the opening quarter.

West Hills finally got on the board with 48 seconds to play in the first. Quarterback Tristan Eames connected with Jonathan Murphy for a 46-yard touchdown reception to cap a quick four-play, 70-yard drive.

Midway through the second, the Falcons tied up the contest thanks to a huge 71-yard touchdown run from Andrew Davis with 7:08 to play in the half. West Hills had momentum on its side, heading into the locker room at the break with the score evened at 14 each.

A bizarre play late in the third quarter gave the Falcons a narrow two-point lead. Deep in Laney territory, Dameon Ross forced an Eagle fumble that was recovered by Thadius Harris at the Laney 34-yard line. Two offensive plays later, the Falcons appeared to be on their way to a go-ahead touchdown.

On 1st and 10 from the Laney 18-yard line, Eames' pass was intercepted by Laprel Boyd in the end zone. He elected to run the ball out but an illegal block penalty was called on the Eagles at the 10, sending the ball back inside the Laney end zone. A safety was called that awarded two points to the Falcons to give them a 16-14 with 50 seconds left in the third.

But Laney went ahead thanks to a two-yard TD run by Harold Tidwell with 6:30 to play in the fourth and added six more points with a 49-yard quarterback keeper by Walker-Scott with 3:03 left.

West Hills was outgained on the offensive side of the ball by a 325-233 margin. Eames completed 12 of 29 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Penalties also hurt the Falcons as they were flagged 11 times for 82 yards.