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JSerra cashes in turnovers for win over Santa Margarita
MISSION VIEJO – JSerra always seems to save its best for last.
Over the course of the last three seasons, the Lions have been the underdog in Trinity League play, oftentimes feeding off of it.
In a must-win situation Friday night, JSerra scored 17 points off turnovers and pushed past Santa Margarita, 27-21, in a crucial Trinity League battle at Saddleback College.
Spoiling Santa Margarita’s homecoming, the Lions outscored the Eagles 14-7 in the second half.
JSerra (5-3, 1-2) is still breathing in the battle for the league's third and final guaranteed playoff berth. Teams need a .500-or-better record to be considered for an at-large berth.
Santa Margarita (4-4, 0-3), which led 14-13 at halftime, fumbled on its second play of the third quarter to set the table for JSerra’s comeback. The Lions, benefiting from an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty, grabbed the lead on Matthew Robinson’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Tarik Luckett, pushing the score to 20-14.
The defense, which forced three turnovers, came up big in the fourth quarter as Tyler Shimomura’s interception with Santa Margarita driving in the JSerra red zone allowed the Lions to extend their lead on the ensuing possession with Robinson’s 14-yard touchdown scramble.
The Eagles quickly responded, scoring two plays later on Green’s 4-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to six points at 27-21. But the ensuing onside kick fell easily into the hands of the Lions, securing the victory.
Jake Haggard connected on field goals of 42 and 30 yards for JSerra.
Grant Calcaterra finished with six catches for 194 yards and two TD – both in the first half. The Oklahoma-commit caught a 76-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. He also had an impressive 50-yard catch-and-run late in the first half to give the Eagles the halftime lead.
Santa Margarita quarterback Richard Wagner threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns.