Troy squeezes past Fullerton, 15-14


FULLERTON – Austin Leocadio’s 27-yard field goal with 9:10 to play carried Troy to a 15-14 victory over Fullerton in an emotional crosstown rivalry and Freeway League game Friday at Fullerton High.

The Indians’ Isaiah Rodriguez missed a 32-yard field goal with 48 seconds to play. Fullerton drove 61 yards on 13 plays to the Troy 10 in the final five minutes before a 5-yard penalty pushed it back to the 15. On fourth down, Rodriguez’ kick was a low line-drive that veered wide left.

Fullerton (3-5, 0-3) had taken a 14-12 lead on Gavin Klepper’s 5-yard touchdown run and Rodriguez’s kick with 3:54 left in the third period. The Indians drove 67 yards on eight plays, including a 17-yard run by Dylan Nicholson.

Troy (6-2, 2-1), ranked 23rd in the county and eighth in CIF-SS Division 5, trailed 7-5 at halftime.

The Warriors received the second-half kickoff and drove 67 yards on 11 plays to take a 12-7 lead with 7:19 left in the third on quarterback Josiah Norwood’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael O’Neill and Leocadio’s PAT. Norwood rushed for 21 yards on two carries and also had an 11-yard completion to Mikale Hill on the drive.

Marlon Haines returned an interception 14 yards with 43.9 remaining in the first half to put Fullerton on top, 7-2.

The Indians had forced the Warriors to punt on fourth-and-18 from the Troy 4-yard line. A Fullerton defender had punter Chris Rahlwes in his grasp in the end zone and Rahlwes launched a desperate throw to avoid a safety.

Troy took the ensuing kickoff and moved 58 yards on five plays. Norwood completed a 9-yard gain to Hill and followed with scrambles of 7 and 8 yards. On second-and-2 from the Fullerton 41, Norwood found Rahlwes open across the middle for a 34-yard gain to the 7. With 3.2 seconds left Leocadio kicked a 25-yard field goal to cut Fullerton’s lead to 7-5.

Troy’s Vicente Carrillo blocked the punt by David Kenney from the goal line and the ball went out of the end zone for a safety for a 2-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

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