High school sports

Big drama in Big 4 as Argos win in OT

MIKE CARRILLO (20) carried for 94 yards and two touchdowns – including the game-winner – as Garden Grove High defeated Segerstrom 21-14 on Thursday night to win the initial Big 4 League championship (Orange County Tribune photos by Christopher Abdelmalek).

By Christopher Abdelmalek

The first football championship game of the brand new Big 4 League will be a hard one to top.

The Argonauts of Garden Grove High School defeated the Jaguars of Segerstrom High School of Santa Ana at Monsoor Stadium 21-14 in double overtime. The Argos won on a Mike Carrillo 3-yard score in the second OT.

These two teams were posting identical records coming into the game. Both were 8-1 overall, both 2-0 in league play. Oh, and winner would be crowned league champion. Did I mention that it was Senior Night? This game had everything going for it. Both teams were looking to establish dominance over the other in this league.

“We were fortunate to win,” said Grove coach Ricardo Cepeda. “They felt they could have won, we felt we could have won,” he said.

The Argos started off hot, scoring first with a shovel pass from quarterback Jacob Zazueta to running back Mike Carrillo to put them up 7-0. That was followed by a 11-yard scramble up the middle by Zazueta to give Grove a 14-0 halftime lead.

GROVE QUARTERBACK Jacob Zazueta passed for 77 yards and rushed for 53 more in the Argonauts’ win Thursday night.

The Jaguars were held scoreless in the first half but at the start of the third quarter Jacob Rodriguez took a toss sweep up the right side for 11 yards to bring them to within one score at 14-7. That score remained the same till the middle of the fourth when Rodriguez again scored up the middle this time to tie the game at 14-14.

It would be fitting for the game to go into overtime. These two teams were even the entire season, so why not take it to the wire? “Bend, but don’t break,” Cepeda said about his defense and they didn’t break.

The first overtime had Segerstrom struggling to convert on offense and nearly being intercepted on the drive which ultimately resulted in a turnover on downs. Garden Grove’s first crack in overtime was much the same as the team nearly fumbled on its drive, which also resulted in turnover on downs. However, the second overtime the Argonauts started with the ball and promptly scored on a touchdown by Carrillo.

The defense would then come in and play as tough as they have done all year long. With the league title on the line the Argos defense came up huge as they stopped the Jaguars quarterback Angel Vega on the 3-yard line, short of the first down marker and the goal line, settling the game.

Quarterback Jacob Zazueta of Garden Grove finished with 10 completions in 15 attempts for 77 yards and one touchdown in the air. He also contributed with 13 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Running back Mike Carrillo finished with a game-high 26 carries and 94 yards rushing and the overtime winning touchdown on the ground.

The Argonauts finish the regular season at 9-1 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Jaguars finish the regular season at 8-2 overall and 2-1 in league play.

CIF playoff berths and brackets will be announced Sunday morning and both the Argos and Jaguars will be included, facing as-yet unknown opponents.

For the time being, one thing is certain: the trip from the Garden Grove League – where the Argonauts had played since 1966 – to the Big 4 hasn’t slowed them down a bit.

 

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