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Godinez beats Westminster in OT for first playoff win
WESTMINSTER – Bryan Ibarra totaled 527 yards in offense, ran for four touchdowns and passed for another score, but it took a big stop by Ulises Pompa to give Godinez its first CIF-SS playoff victory.
Pompa stopped Matt Dinh’s 2-point conversion run on the 1-yard line in overtime to complete the Grizzlies' 49-48 Southern Division triumph over Westminster in a game as wild as the scoreline suggests.
Andy Sosa’s extra point following Richy Tochihuitl’s 2-yard TD run on Godinez’s overtime possession was the difference, as the Lions (8-3) answered with Jacob McGookin’s third score of the night, then went for the win.
The Grizzlies (7-4), who had lost in their three previous playoff openers, will meet fourth-seeded Brea Olinda, a 40-11 winner over Anaheim, in next week’s quarterfinals, their first CIF home game in the program’s eight-year existence.
Ibarra ran for 401 yards on 37 carries and completed 7 of 8 passes for 126 yards – the only miss was a drop – with scoring sprints covering 70 and 74 yards and a 76-yard scoring pass to Chris Zotea, who raced most of the way down the right sideline, all in the third quarter.
“This young man’s special,” said first-year Godinez coach Michael Echaves, who took over a team that went 0-10 last year and led it to its winningest season. “The thing about him is he’s slowly learning to become a great team player, and it’s so exciting to watch him develop as a young man.”
Ibarra also fumbled the ball away three times, on Westminster's 23-, 10-, and 15-yard lines. The Grizzlies, who scored four third-quarter TDs to go ahead on three occasions, were stopped on just one other drive.
The teams combined for 1,235 yards – Godinez with a 636-599 edge – and 968 yards on the ground Westminster got 126 yards rushing and a touchdown from Josh Avila, 112 yards and two TDs rushing and 141 and one score passing from Dinh, and 138 total yards from Isayah Anderson, who gained 95 on six carries and caught a 25-yard TD pass.
Westminster, which led, 21-7, late in the first half, got to overtime as McGookin scored on a 1-yard push with 1:46 to play – a 41-yard Dinh-to-John Nguyen pass to the Godinez 26 on fourth-and-10 was pivotal – then forced Ibarra’s third fumble with 49 seconds to go, one play after the junior ran 48 yards to the Lions’ 16.
The Grizzlies overcame a 5-yard penalty to score theirs overtime touchdown, and McGookin responded on the fifth play of Westminster’s possession. On the conversion, Dinh faked a handoff to Anderson, who was streaking to the right, and went up the middle. Pompa dragged him down a couple of feet from the end zone.
“I thought we had to go for it, just the way the game was going,” said Ted McMillen, who had guided the Lions into the quarterfinals seven of the previous 11 years. “Bad call by me. They did a good job defending it.”