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, BILL ALKOFER, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Segerstrom's Julian Vaglienty celebrates his second-quarter touchdown with Gabriel Mota on Friday.

Segerstrom hangs on, remains unbeaten

STAFF WRITER

ORANGE – Segerstrom wasn’t about to loosen its grip on the Golden West League.

And while Orange might have forfeited a victory and its perfect start, the Panthers showed Friday that they didn’t surrender their resiliency.

Both factors pushed Segerstrom and Orange into a duel at El Modena, but the Jaguars emerged with their perfect record intact.

Julian Vaglienty scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter and the defending champion Jaguars forced Orange to turn the ball over on downs with one minute remaining to secure a 20-17 victory.

Vaglienty’s run capped a dramatic 65-yard drive that the Jaguars (7-0, 2-0) used to answer a score by Orange (5-2, 0-2), which led, 17-13.

“They went down and scored and celebrated like the game was over, but we play four quarters,” Segerstrom coach Joe Tagaloa told his players, ranked No. 1 in Division 12. “I’m proud of how you guys stayed composed and finished.”

Quarterback Marcos Avalos sparked Segerstrom’s winning drive with a 29-yard completion on third-and-15 to JC Caravez to the Orange 40 with just over three minutes left.

For Caravez, a running back/cornerback, it was his only reception.

Moments later, the Panthers, ranked second in Division 13, appeared to stop Segerstrom on a third-and-14 but they were whistled for a personal foul as they ran a ball carrier out of bounds at their 35 with 2:38 left.

Two plays later from the 20, the left-handed Avalos found sophomore Emerson Aldana over the middle for a 17-yard gain to the 3, setting up Vaglienty’s winning score.

Led by a defensive front anchored by Cristian Carmona and Andrew Magana, Segerstrom allowed a 5-yard pass and stopped three runs to seal the victory. On fourth down, the Jaguars stuffed a draw for Aaron Murray.

“We showed a lot of heart,” Vaglienty said. “We didn’t give up.”

Segerstrom’s defense didn’t budge either. The Jaguars’ David Gallegos blocked a 41-yard field goal with 3:55 left in the third quarter. Segerstrom also forced an Orange miss on a 39-yard attempt later in the third quarter.

The Panthers still took the lead on an 11-yard TD run by Nathan Howard with 5:02 left in the fourth. Quarterback Miguel Orendain sparked the 71-yard scoring drive by avoiding a sack and scrambling for a first down on a fourth-down play.

Brandon Warren of Orange also broke a 19-yard run to the Segerstrom 48 on the Panthers' first third down of the possession.

Murray had a 21-yard TD run on a draw nullified by a penalty.

Both teams scored on their first possessions of the game before the defenses gained their footing.

Orange, which Wednesday forfeited its victory against Santa Ana because of an ineligible player, opened with a nine-play, 56-yard scoring drive capped by a 3-yard TD run by Luis Correa.

Segerstrom responded with a 12-play, 72-yard scoring drive to tie the score. Denilson Santamaria broke a 13-yard TD run as the Jaguars made it 7-7 with 3:55 left in the opening quarter.

Contact the writer: dalbano@scng.com


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