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Comets Chick-Fil-A Winter Festi-Bowl champs; Johnson MVP

Comets Chick-Fil-A Winter Festi-Bowl champs; Johnson MVP

ESCONDIDO, CA (12/4/2021) -- Palomar defeated Santa Barbara City College 44-24 for the Chick-Fil-A Winter Festi-Bowl Championship. This was the first time the Comets have hosted a bowl game since 2014 and their first post season appearance since 2018. 

Palomar got right to work scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, with a pass touchdown from Zeke Payne (Rancho Bernardo) to Brandon Johnson (El Camino). The Comets then got themselves into field goal range for Landon Ogles to kick a 45-yarder to make the score 10-0. In the second quarter, Payne connected again on another touchdown pass to Johnson. In the third and fourth quarter, Payne connected on another pair of touchdown passes to tight end Edward Imgrund (Valley Center). Running back Tawee Walker (Centennial) punched in a short touchdown run to ice the game late in the fourth quarter.

Payne went 19-38 for 324 yards and four touchdowns. Tawee Walker led the running backs group with 21 carries for 114 yards. Johnson led the wide receivers' group with four receptions for 82 yards and three touchdowns. Linebacker Khalid Walker (Mojave) recorded one sack for 15 yards, five tackles, including one for loss. Defensive back Jalen Dye (Cathedral Catholic) had three tackles and two interceptions. Kicker Landon Ogles (Rancho Bernardo) made three field goal and five extra points.

The Comets put up 494 yards of total offense, 324 yards came from the air and 170 yards came from the ground. The defense gave up 418 yards, 348 yards came from the air and 70 came from the ground. The Comets committed 10 penalties for 106 yards on the night.

Dye was named the Defensive Star of the Game and Johnson was the Chick-Fil-A Winter Festi-Bowl MVP. Santa Barbara's wide receiver Marcus Bellon won the Offensive Star of the Game. 

Palomar finished their season 6-5, their first winning season since 2014. They took second place in the National Central League and had 12 players named to the all-conference team. 


Story by Mac Pham