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Kicker McGinnis boots Tesoro past Upland
LAS FLORES – Hayden McGinnis lived the life of a kicker Friday night.
He made a field goal early in the game, missed an extra point, had one blocked, but he was still looking forward to that next opportunity.
Of course it came with the game on the line.
McGinnis, Tesoro’s senior kicker, was sent on the field with 6.5 seconds remaining and with the Titans trailing by one point.
The snap was perfect, the hold was too and McGinnis took care of the rest, knocking home the 23-yard field goal to give the host Titans a 30-28 victory over visiting Upland on Friday night.
Tesoro (2-1) entered the week ranked sixth in the county and third in the latest CIF-SS West Valley Division poll. Upland (2-1) was ranked fifth in the division.
Tesoro entered the game off of a lost to Mater Dei last week.
“I was excited that the game was going to be put on me,” McGinnis said. “My coach actually came over and told me that I needed to calm down because I was too excited.”
McGinnis had made a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter. In the fourth, as Tesoro started its comeback, McGinnis had an extra point blocked. He was intent on not letting that distract him this time around.
“I was kind of nervous at first, by my long snapper (Sean O’Brien) came up and said he let me down and my holder told me no matter what I’m going to get this (the ball) down,” McGinnis said. “This feels amazing.”
For McGinnis to even have this chance took a lot of fight from the Titans in the fourth quarter.
Upland took a 28-21 lead with 4:13 left on a double-reverse, halfback pass.
Tesoro responded on its next possession on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Devon Modster to Shane Coleman. The Titans went for the two-point conversion, but Modster was denied, cutting Upland’s lead to 28-27.
Then the Tesoro defense needed to come up with a stop and that’s what happened when Michael Mansuette came up with a big pass breakup, forcing Upland to punt.
“Our kids stepped up and made a couple of plays and came out on top, barely,” Tesoro coach Matt Poston said. “They had just hit this monster play to go ahead, but our kids were still ready to keep fighting and we did what we needed to do to get back in there and give ourselves a chance.”
Tesoro started its eventual winning drive in Upland territory at the 48. After an incomplete pass, Modster connected with Carter Jaenichen for a 17-yard gain. Later, on third-and-2 from the 12, Graeden Sharpe gained a first down to the 7. Two plays later, McGinnis sealed the victory and fans rushed the field.
McGinnis has been kicking since the eighth grade. This was his first winning kick.
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