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MIGUEL VASCONCELLOS, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Buena Park's Elijah Gates breaks up a pass intended for Esperanza's Blake Peters on a fourth down in overtime, sealing the victory for Buena Park during Friday's game at Buena Park High.

Taylor throws 5 TD passes for Buena Park in 2OT triumph

STAFF WRITER

BUENA PARK – Anthony White can talk about how young his kids are this year till he’s blue in the face.

But players as green as the numbers on their uniforms don’t pull out double-overtime thrillers.

Late heroics by Elijah Bynum, Elijah Gates and Zach Taylor propelled Buena Park over Esperanza, 42-35, Friday night at Buena Park High.

“We’re hungry,” White said. “If you’ve ever been hungry before, you know there’s only one way to get full. At Buena Park, we want to feed everyone. Everybody eats.”

Taylor, one of the few seniors at White’s disposal, finished with five touchdown passes and 370 yards. Gates, a junior receiver, scored three times, including the winning touchdown in the second overtime.

In all, Taylor completed passes to six different receivers, his assortment of throws consisting of swings, screens and flies. Esperanza effectively stopped the run, White said, meaning Buena Park had to let its quarterback win the game.

“We have a lot of athletes,” said Taylor, who threw touchdown passes of 71, 15, 82, 72 and 25 yards. “Our objective is to get our guys in space. We have a lot of playmakers, and if we can get them the ball in space, there’s no stopping them.”

Fast forward to the fourth quarter, when Gates scored on a 72-yard touchdown. A successful two-point conversion knotted the score at 29. Buena Park and Esperanza exchanged empty possessions till overtime, before exchanging touchdown runs in the extra frame.

Starting with the ball in the second overtime, Taylor lofted a beautiful pass to Gates, whose third touchdown was the winning one.

“I saw a lot of fight tonight, a lot of heart,” Taylor said. “I’m proud of my guys. In a close game like this, we fought with a lot of heart.”

Esperanza running backs Patrick Campos and Nicholas Lycett finished with 117 and 91 yards, respectively. QB Trevor Markowitz threw two TD passes before leaving in the third quarter with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Contact the writer: bwhitehead@ocregister.com


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