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Canyon falls to El Segundo on last-minute touchdown

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

EL SEGUNDO – For three quarters, Canyon led its CIF-Southern Section Division 7 first-round playoff game against El Segundo.

Trailing by one with 1:34 to play, El Segundo quarterback Kobee Legarde found Billy Brasher open over the middle, hitting him in stride for a 63-yard pass play as Brasher took the ball down to the Canyon 5-yard line.

Three plays later, El Segundo (10-1) spread Canyon’s defense out with a swinging-gate formation that allowed senior quarterback Jake Palmer to run in from 5 yards out to give El Segundo the lead with 26 seconds left. Palmer converted the two-point conversion pass to Matt Binder and the Eagles had a 17-10 victory.

“It’s a tough loss, but hats off to them. They are a really good team, they made big plays when they had to,” said Canyon coach Mike Ogas, whose team finished 4-7. “Our defense played well all year, we hung our hat on our defense all year, unfortunately we just couldn’t score enough points tonight.”

Canyon led 10-3 with 5:34 to play when El Segundo found itself at its own 18-yard line. Both Palmer and Legarde made big plays to keep the drive alive. Isaiah Gray caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Legarde with 3:58 left, but Canyon blocked Palmer’s point-after attempt to preserve a one-point lead.

El Segundo’s defense, led by Dylan Radke (14 tackles) and Gabriel Fernan (13), stopped Canyon on a third-and-4 play at midfield as Fernan broke through and tackled Canyon running back Jesse Lobato for a 4-yard loss, forcing a Canyon punt that set up the thrilling finish.

Canyon played well early, repeatedly stopping El Segundo. The Comanches broke through early in the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony Marquez to wide receiver Connor Dunn for a 7-3 lead.

Late in the third quarter, Canyon kicker Max Meyers added a 40-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-3. Unfortunately for Canyon, their defense couldn’t slow El Segundo in the fourth quarter.

“I’m very proud of how our kids play. I keep preaching to them that just need to keep getting better every day,” Ogas said. “If they continue to work hard and improve we will be even better next season.”

Dunn had five catches for 62 yards.


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