Woodbridge's Brodie Hutton and Chris Castillo combine to tackle Cypress's Elias Rios during the first half of a CIF-SS Division 9 first round game at University High School on Friday in Irvine. (PHOTO BY JOSH BARBER, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER)

Woodbridge has 'epiphany moment,' rallies past Cypress


IRVINE – Where other teams would have faltered, Connor McBride and his Woodbridge teammates simply would not give in.

When Cypress quickly scored 52 seconds into the third quarter of Friday night’s first-round CIF-Southern Section Division 9 playoff battle, giving the Centurions a 14-point lead, McBride and Co. never flinched.

Woodbridge would score 28 unanswered second-half points to push past the Centurions, 35-21, at University High. The Warriors travel to Antelope Valley for a second-round matchup Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Woodbridge (5-6) heads to the second round for the first time since 2013.

“We came into halftime and had an epiphany moment,” McBride said. “We all came together and said, ‘We do not want this to be our last game. We do not want our fans to experience loss.’ We wanted to do this for each other.”

Cypress (6-5), an at-large entry, ended its season losing four of its final six games.

McBride had 28 carries for 144 yards and three TDs for the Warriors, who lost to Cypress in Week 0, 20-14.

Woodbridge’s defense forced six turnovers, including three interceptions from sophomore defensive back Jacob Nash.

Spencer Weston threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns for the Warriors.

Following Cypress’ quick third-quarter score, Woodbridge wasted little time. On the ensuing possession, McBride capped a nine-play, 71-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run coming out of the wildcat.

Trevor Weiss then recovered a fumble on Cypress’ following possession, and the Warriors again methodically drove the field on nine plays before finding the end zone on Chase Bradley’s 16-yard touchdown reception. A failed two-point conversion left Woodbridge trailing, 21-20, with 2:32 left in third.

Nick Nash’s 16-yard touchdown reception and a successful two-point conversion gave the Warriors their first lead at 28-21.

McBride’s 1-yard scoring run with 2:19 left sealed the victory.

Cypress receiver Dominique Thompson played with a broken bone in his ankle. He had two catches for 74 yards.

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