Irvine's Jonathan Garcia tries to figure out a way past Estancia's Wilmer Sanchez as he returns a kickoff during Friday's nonleague game at Irvine High.

Irvine pulls away from Estancia in second half


IRVINE – Three third-quarter touchdowns proved to be the deciding factor as Irvine defeated Estancia, 27-17, in a nonleague game Friday night at Irvine High.

With the score tied at 7 at the half, the momentum shifted early in the third quarter when Estancia (1-2) was forced to punt after a sack by Ben Roznos on third down.

The low-kicked punt was caught by Jonathan Garcia, who returned it for a 28-yard touchdown.

Later in the quarter, it was Brent Miller who stole the show as the Vaqueros (2-1) put the game out of reach.

With 3:11 left in the quarter, Miller scored on a 12-yard rushing touchdown and on the next Vaqueros defensive series, Miller blocked the Eagles punt and returned for a 4-yard touchdown, giving his team a 27-10 lead.

Miller finished the game with 53 yards on 11 carries.

The first half was dominated on the defensive side of the ball as both teams forced multiple turnovers.

At the nine-minute mark in the first quarter, Estancia’s Trevor Brown picked off an errant throw by Irvine’s Joseph Carter, leading to the game’s first touchdown, a 1-yard rushing score by Jordan Balcazar, giving the Eagles a 7-0 advantage.

The Eagles added another interception at the end of the first quarter by senior linebacker Alejandro Mondragon.

Although no touchdowns came as a result, Irvine forced turnovers of its own in the first quarter, an impressive diving interception by Miller, who later also recovered a fumble on a broken Estancia option play.

In the second quarter, the Vaqueros tied the score at 7 on the heels of an interception by Logan Dory at the 10-yard line, setting up Garcia’s 10-yard rushing score.

Roznos and Luke Coleman each recorded two sacks on the night for Irvine.

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