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Tustin wins with rushing offense from the 'old days'
TUSTIN – Tustin went retro Thursday.
The Tillers in the second half returned to their ground-and-pound offensive style of the past to beat Aliso Niguel, 34-21, in a nonleague game at Tustin High.
Tustin rushed for 289 yards, more than half of them in the second half.
“We kind of went back to the old days,” said Tustin coach Winter Welz, a Tustin lineman in the “old days” when Tustin won league championships, playoff games and a CIF-Southern Section championship in former coach Myron Miller’s double-wing offense.
It’s not the double wing now, but the Tillers’ offensive line of Shaq Alapati, Sean Sasi, Luis Garcia, Sai Sagiao Mikaio and Joseph Cruz and tight ends Greg Kimble and Alema Pilimai powered open the holes for sophomore KC Carr, who rushed for 101 yards, Devon Anderson (75 yards) and Tyler Noble (64 yards).
“We just decided to bang them and take over the clock,” Welz said.
Tustin is 2-1. The Tillers lost to neighborhood rival Foothill, 13-7 last week after beating Dana Hills, 74-14, in their season opener. Aliso Niguel (1-2) beat Marina in its season opener and lost to Long Beach Millikan last week.
Noble had a 24-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and on one of the few Tustin passes of the second half added a 21-yard touchdown reception. He also threw a 7-yard option pass for a touchdown to Deon Faaseu.
The defense contributed points, too. RJ Villamar stripped the ball from an Aliso Niguel ball carrier and ran 52 yards for a touchdown.
Aliso Niguel quarterback Nick Chapman completed 19 of 40 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, both to Blake Sabol. Tustin’s defense clamped down on Chapman in the second half when he was only 4 for 13.
Aliso Niguel scored its first touchdown on the final play of the first quarter, a 3-yard completion from Chapman to Sabol. Chapman, falling backwards, tossed a jump ball that Sabol, 6-foot-4, brought down while falling at the back-right corner of the end zone.
Tustin tied it early in the second quarter on Noble’s 24-yard touchdown run.
The second Chapman-to-Sabol touchdown pass, this one covering 26 yards, in the second quarter gave Aliso Niguel a 14-7 lead. Tustin tied it with 1:29 to go in the second quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Sagel Simon to Pilimai.
The Tillers took their first lead, 21-14, on Noble’s 21-yard pass reception from Simon. Villamar’s touchdown made it 27-17 and Tustin was in complete control from there.
Aliso Niguel got a last-minute touchdown, a pass from Tyler Tangard to Blake Vom Steeg, to complete the scoring.
Tustin was missing several players who skipped practice on Labor Day.
Aliso Niguel plays a home game next Friday against Dana Hills. Tustin plays next Friday at Paloma Valley of Menifee.
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