Tesoro running back Graeden Sharpe (43) leads the team in a cheer after they won Friday's nonleague game against La Habra, 14-13, in overtime at Tesoro.

Tesoro pulls off thrilling win over La Habra in OT


LAS FLORES – Chase Petersen threaded a touchdown pass to Joe Morenc in the end zone and Joe Rizkallah kicked the extra point for Tesoro as the Titans beat La Habra, 14-13, in overtime Friday at Tesoro High.

The game was tied, 7-7, at the end of regulation. La Habra got the ball first in overtime – each team gets possession at the opponent’s 25-yard line until a team is outscored – and scored on a 15-yard run by Madison Wheeler. The kick for the extra point was wide right, leaving the Highlanders with a 13-7 lead.

On its overtime possession, Tesoro had a fourth-and-7 at the La Habra 22. Petersen connected with Graeden Sharp for 10 yards and the first down. Two plays later, Petersen’s touchdown pass to the diving Morenc in the end zone and Rizkallah’s kick got the win.

Tesoro is 1-1 and ranked No. 14 in Orange County. The Titans lost to No. 8 Edison last week.

No. 7 La Habra is 1-1. The Highlanders defeated No. 15 El Toro last week.

Both teams played well defensively throughout the game.

Tesoro had a 7-0 lead at halftime on Petersen’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Seth Gilmore.

The Highlanders had two first-half touchdowns erased by penalties. Prince Ross appeared to have returned a first-quarter punt 91 yards for a touchdown. An illegal block to the back at midfield negated those points. In the second quarter, La Habra safety Wheeler returned an interception 64 yards to the end zone, but another illegal block swiped those points.

Wheeler scored on a 2-yard run with 2:20 left in the third quarter to supply the second half’s only touchdown. A La Habra 33-yard field-goal attempt in the final minute of regulation was low and flew directly into back of the offensive line.

It was Petersen’s Tesoro debut. A junior who transferred from Mission Viejo, Petersen became athletically eligible at Tesoro on Wednesday.

La Habra plays another South Coast League team next week – the South Coast League team, to some – when it plays at Orange County No. 2 Mission Viejo on Friday.

Tesoro plays at Huntington Beach next Friday.

La Habra’s offense had a miserable first half. The Highlanders got only three first downs, two of those in the final 20 seconds of the half. They had only 46 yards passing. They rushed for 5 yards on 10 attempts.

Tesoro’s offense moved the ball, collecting seven first downs. But the Titans turned the ball over. They lost a fumble on their game-opening series and another ended on Wheeler’s interception.

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