Tustin's Kenneth Carr (3) leaps over Pacifica defenders to pick up a first down in High School Football Friday. He would have a touchdown that helped keep the score tied at 14 going into the half earlier in the half. (ROD VEAL/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER)

Pacifica can't stop Carr as Tustin wins


TUSTIN – KC Carr came into this week as Orange County's leading rusher, and the Tustin junior showed why Friday night against visiting Pacifica.

Carr rushed for 267 yards on 44 carries and scored all four touchdowns in the 28-21 Empire League victory.

Carr's final score came with 8 minutes, 8 seconds remaining and gave the Tillers (6-1, 2-0 Empire League) the lead for good.

Tustin defensive lineman Sai Mikaio then made a key stop on fourth-and-1 with 6:20 left and the Tillers ran out the clock behind Carr, who came into the game with 1,494 rushing yards.

“I really appreciate everybody that blocked and the coaches for giving me a chance to run,” Carr said.

The score was knotted, 14-14, at the half and Tustin and Pacifica (3-4, 0-2) each scored on their opening possessions of the second half, but the Mariners made their point-after try and the Tillers did not, giving Pacifica a 21-20 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

The Tillers faced a critical fourth-and-goal from the Pacifica 2 and Carr managed to barrel through the defense for the go-ahead touchdown.

The Tillers then called a rare pass on the two-point try and Sagel Simon successfully connected with Greg Kimble for a 28-21 lead.

Tustin had trouble containing Pacifica quarterback Ben Jefferson early in the game, but found the right defense as the game continued. Jefferson broke loose on a 63-yard run on the third offensive play of the game before Raul Balderas scored from the 1 two plays later to give the Mariners a 7-0 lead.

Jefferson again showed his speed on the second possession, getting around the edge and sprinting down the sideline, outracing Carr to the end zone to complete the 61-yard run and move Pacifica back in front, 14-7.

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