By Jim Tortolano
In a football game that literally went down to the last play’s last second, Rancho Alamitos High outlasted Santiago High 25-22 to claim a least a piece of the Garden Grove League title.
The Vaqueros are now 8-1 overall and 4-0 in league; the Cavaliers are 7-2 and 3-1 in league.
“It was literally a team effort,” said Rancho head coach Mike Enright. “Football is the ultimate team sport.”
Trailing 22-18 in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, Rancho went on a 64-yard march that culminated with Isaac Plata hitting Salvador Correa with a 29-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute on the clock.
Santiago turned it into a nail-biter with a quick drive that reached the Rancho 46. But the last two passes – including one launched as time ran out – fell incomplete as the Vaquero sideline erupted into cheers and hugs.
Plata finished with 122 yards passing and two scores for Rancho. Daniel Gonzalez threw for 73 for the Cavaliers. Leal led all rushers with 117 yards for Rancho. Art Martinez had 88 yards and a score for Santiago.
The two teams swapped leads four times in front of a large Santiago homecoming crowd at Monsoor Stadium on the Garden Grove High campus. Although the Cavs lost, they will finish no worse than second in the GGL and can look forward to the CIF-SS playoffs, which start the week after next.
In other action Friday night, Garden Grove (now 7-2) clinched no worse than a tie for the Big 4 League title with a 17-7 win over Marina (3-6). The Argonauts are 2-0 in league and can stand alone at the top with a win over Segerstrom (3-6 overall, 1-1 in the Big 4) next Friday.
Also, the Battle for the Bell between rivals Edison and Fountain Valley was one-sided again, as the Chargers (now 6-3 overall, 3-1 in the Sunset League) thumped the Barons 51-0.
Friday night football scores
(Results are posted as they become available).
Big Four League
- Garden Grove 17, Marina 7
- Pacifica 41, Crean Lutheran 6
Garden Grove League
- Rancho Alamitos 25, Santiago 22
- La Quinta 35, Los Amigos 28
- Western 52, Century 0
- Magnolia at Savanna, cancelled
Orange Coast League
- Orange 55, Saddleback 13
- Edison 51, Fountain Valley 0
- Los Alamitos 49, Huntington Beach 14
Categories: High school sports