RANCHO ALAMITOS 41, HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 31
GARDEN GROVE – Four-touchdown performances are becoming standard at Rancho Alamitos.
Jesse Candelario had four touchdown receptions and helped the Vaqueros defeat Heritage Christian, 41-31, in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 11 playoffs Friday at Bolsa Grande High.
Candelario, who caught six passes for 156 yards, matched Cross Faletoi’s four-touchdown game in Rancho Alamitos’ regular season finale last week against Los Amigos.
The Vaqueros (7-4, 2-2) will travel to Moreno Valley next week to face Valley View in the second round.
Blake Culbert threw for 201 yards and four touchdowns and added a 72-yard TD run in the second quarter.
The Culbert-to-Candelario connection produced a 60-yard strike on a quick slant that gave the Vaqueros an early 7-0 lead.
Heritage Christian (6-5, 2-2) responded with a run-heavy attack led by Brandon Sanchez and tied the score at 7. Sanchez ran 32 times for 244 yards and three touchdown.
Candelario’s second TD made it 14-7, but Heritage Christian answered with another Sanchez score.
Justin Kanyavong scored on 3-yard TD late in the second quarter to give Rancho Alamitos a 21-14 lead it would not relinquish.
On the next drive the Vaqueros were able to stuff the run on consecutive plays and force a punt.
Culbert gave Rancho Alamitos a 14-point cushion with his 72-yard run late in the second quarter.
The Vaqueros used a perfectly executed onside kick by Israel Martinez to retain possession to start the second half.
A few plays later Culbert hit Candelario for another score, this time a 40-yard pass that made it 34-17.
Later in the third quarter, the Warriors were able to close the gap when Jason Parraz hit Garrett Clark for a 64-yard touchdown pass that brought Heritage Christian within 10, 34-24.
That was as close as Heritage Christian would get as Candelario tallied his final TD of the game to put the game out of reach.