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Beckman turns away Irvine rally
IRVINE – Irvine could not pull off another comeback Friday night as Beckman held off the Vaqueros for a 24-10 victory in a Pacific Coast League game at Irvine High
Last week, Irvine (3-5-1, 1-2) rallied from being down 17-0 in the third quarter to defeat Woodbridge, 20-17.
Friday's game began to show hints of a similar comeback when Beckman (4-4, 2-1) went up 17-3 late in the third quarter, and Irvine answered with a 76-yard touchdown run from senior Brent Miller to make it a one-score game.
The run was a peculiar draw play. It started looking like a designed run to sophomore quarterback Robert Rahimi with Miller in to block. But as Rahimi ran by Miller, he reached his left arm behind him and snuck the ball to Miller, who slipped tackles and broke loose for the score.
The play came less than two minutes after Beckman junior Jake Groves broke free for his own long run, a 50-yarder that put the Patriots up 14.
The score remained 17-10 until late in the fourth quarter. The Patriots had the ball nearing the three-minute mark, and they turned to the player Coach Marcello Giuliano called their "closer" – senior running back I'Jon Akahi.
"He's the kid that we go to to finish out games, to run the clock, to get the first down that we need."
He got the first and much more this time, breaking out for a 58-yard score to put Beckman on top 24-10.
Giuliano and most of his players watched Irvine's comeback win last week, so his team was ready to stand its ground. He referenced other times the Vaqueros had orchestrated comebacks including a close call in Beckman's 19-13 victory over Irvine last year.
“We just knew the whole time,” he said, “it was going to come down to (the last few minutes).”