San Diego, Calif. - Golden West attempted to stage another second half comeback but fell short on the road at San Diego Mesa 27-21 in week two.
The Rustlers opened the game with a successful onsides kick and scoring drive to take an early 7-0 lead. Wide out Wulfe Retzlaff rushed for a two yard touchdown to give the Rustlers an opening drive score following a SD Mesa pass interference.
Both teams would trade a couple of possessions before Mesa would tie the game at 7-7 in the middle of the first quarter. Mesa would sustain a 10 play, 82 yard drive in three minutes and fifteen seconds while taking advantage of the Rustler secondary. Mesa would connect on two more passing touchdowns in the first half to take a 21-7 lead into halftime.
The defenses shined in the third quarter as neither offense could seem to get things going through the air or on the ground. It wasn't until the very end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth quarter that the Rustlers were able to cash in on long scoring drive. Freshman quarterback Nathaniel Espinoza connected with Ratzlaff for his second touchdown of the game and first receiving to cut the lead to 21-14. Unfortunately, special teams for the Rustlers let them down after a fumble was lost on a punt return on the Golden West 16 yard line. That led to a Mesa rushing touchdown two plays later to extend their lead to 27-14.
The Rustlers responded on their very next possession marching 77 yards on 10 plays culminating in a Espinoza 9 yard rushing touchdown with five minutes left in the game. The comeback wasn't meant to be as the Golden West had on more shot with three minutes on the clock but Mesa's defense held strong to end game.
NEXT: Golden West (0-2) will host West LA (0-2) on Saturday, September 15th at 1pm.