Tustin denies pass, holds on to beat Cypress


TUSTIN – One catch and one point.

That’s what separated Tustin and Cypress on Thursday night.

With just over two minutes remaining, Cypress was unable to complete a two-point conversion pass, and Tustin held on for a 21-20 victory in an Empire League game at Tustin High.

Cypress trailed 21-14 with 6:41 left, and put the ball in the hands of its quarterback, Alex Ashcraft, as it tried to pull off a comeback.

Ashcraft completed seven passes on the drive including an 8-yard touchdown to Tyler Hansen.

Based on film and game observations of Tustin (6-1, 2-0), Cypress (2-5, 0-2) thought it had a play and elected not to kick the extra point.

“I thought we had a chance, and I didn’t like our chances in overtime,” Cypress coach Rick Feldman said. “So I thought, heck, let’s go for it. We had a chance and just didn’t execute.”

Ashcraft took the ball one more time and lofted the ball toward the left side of the end zone. The ball hit off the hands of the open receiver and fell to the ground.

“Can’t be happier with the effort that we played with,” Feldman said. “Little boys grew up tonight.”

Cypress’s effort was evident from the start.

With two drives starting on the Tustin 43-yard line, Isaiah Parra ran in 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and Ashcraft hit Andrew Khiev on an 11-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.

Tustin fought back as Deon Faaseu caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Sagel Simon and Tyler Noble ran in a 27-yard touchdown and the two-point conversion to tie the game, 14-14, going into halftime.

Tustin took a 21-14 lead with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Simon to Jonathan Di Maio in the third quarter.

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