TORRANCE, Calif. --- El Camino College played a back-and-forth game against visiting Palomar but came up short, 47-42, on Saturday night in Featherstone Field and Murdock Stadium.
The Warriors (6-4, 2-3) put up 453 yards of total offense and led the Comets (5-5, 3-2) by 10 points early in the second half, but Palomar outscored ECC 26-11 in the final 15:54 of regulation to score the victory.
Dylan Guerra went 21-for-33 for 277 yards and a touchdown through the air and added a rushing touchdown to pace the Warriors offense. Robbie Colenzo hauled in six catches for 98 yards while Tyler Luckett added 73 receiving yards on seven receptions in the loss.
But the Comets were just a bit better on Saturday thanks to quarterback Zeke Payne, who went 28-for-39 for 431 yards and four touchdowns. He had two receivers go for more than 100 receiving yards as Malachi Russell (7-126) and Brandon Johnson (4-119) had two receiving touchdowns apiece in the win.
The game was close throughout with neither team able to gain much separation. The Warriors got a 35-yard field goal from Noah Guastella to close the first half and give them their first lead of the game at 17-14 going into the halftime break.
The Warrios would expand that to a 10-point lead on two occasions but the Comets would not go away. The Comets trimmed the deficit to three with a nine-play, 92-yard drive capped off by a 17-yard TD gram from Russell with 54 seconds left to make it 31-28 for the Warriors.
The Comets then immediately struck on their next possession, going 59 yards on just two plays with a 32-yard TD catch from Russell giving the Comets a 35-31 lead and would go on to expand that to a 42-34 advantage with 8:44 left.
The defense would then make a stand against the Comets offense, forcing a 52-yard field goal attempt that would go on to be blocked and recovered by the Warriors with 3:14 left.
But disaster struck on the ensuing drive as back-to-back botched snaps resulted in a safety, giving the Comets a 44-42 lead and the ball with just 2:38 left.
The Comets tacked on a field goal for insurance and the Warriors' final drive with 43 seconds left came up short.
The Warriors will find out their postseason fate following next week's make-up games for a number of teams in the SCFA.