JSerra rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half to pull out a 15-14 victory over the Coyotes on Thursday night at Buena Park High.
Just a few years ago before Anthony White took over as coach of the Coyotes, Buena Park struggled for any kind of victory. In the third year under White, the Coyotes had a Trinity League team on the ropes.
The turning point came in the third quarter. JSerra was driving in Buena Park territory when Jaylinn Hawkins picked off JSerra quarterback Nick Robinson. But there was a flag on the play. The Coyotes got dinged for roughing the passer. Instead of taking over at their own 6-yard line, JSerra kept the ball and eventually Logan Bartlett scored on a 4-yard TD run. Quentin Longrie added a 2-point conversion run and JSerra had cut Buena Park's lead to 14-8. That drive took 8 minutes and 27 seconds of the third quarter.
Robinson scored on a 5-yard keeper on the first play of the fourth quarter and the Lions withstood two missed field goal attempts from 50 and 46 yards to pull out the victory.
JSerra showed a lot of toughness and determination to pull out the victory. The Lions were playing without four starting offensive linemen due to injuries. Casey Eugenio still rushed fir 146 yards on 22 carries.
The Coyotes were valiant in defeat. They forced four turnovers and had plenty of chances.
County rushing leader Deven Boston scored on an 80-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage to give Buena Park a 7-0 lead.
Boston finished 170 yards on 19 carries. He is as explosive as advertised.
If Buena Park can get wide receiver Hakeem "The Dream" Williams more touches they will be even more dangerous. Boston and Williams are a threat to break a big play whenever they touch the ball.
Buena Park isn't a top-10 team, yet, and I say "yet" because this program is moving in the right direction. They are going to have plenty more highlights this season. The Southwest Division better keep an eye on the Coyotes.
The community has really gotten behind this Buena Park team. You can see it in the excitement in the crowd and all the volunteers that help put together these home games.
Don't get me started about Adelle and the rest of the lovely ladies that run the Buena Park snack bar. The Coyote Tacos, Coyote Tamales and Coyote Dogs are off the charts. Thanks for taking care of Mr. FryDay Night and myself. We'll be back soon.
Oh yeah, I love Buena Park's motto: "Our Family vs. Their Team."
THE THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL MADNESS STUDS:
Casey Eugenio, JSerra: When the Lions needed to run out the clock in the final 2 minutes and 22 seconds, they hammered away with Eugenio on the ground and Buena Park never saw the ball again to preserve their 15-14 victory.
Deven Boston, Buena Park: For the fourth consecutive week, Boston earns TNFM Stud honors. The dude is a lethal weapon on the field. You might stop him for a few plays, but he's ready to break one at any time.
Thomas Duarte, Mater Dei: Duarte had two sacks on defense and 19-yard TD catch in Mater Dei's 51-0 victory over Santa Monica.
Chase Forrest, Mater Dei: Staring QB Ryan McMahan got knocked out of the game in the first half and Forrest stepped in and went 9 of 10 for 104 yards and a TD. That's TNFM Stud material.
Alex Cliatt, Irvine: Cliatt broke up the 2-point conversion attempt in the final seconds and earlier he had an 89-yard kickoff return for a TD to help the Vaqueros hang on for a 20-18 victory over Estancia.
Nathan Perry, Trabuco Hills: The Mustangs quarterback had 259 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns, including a 75-yard TD run. He was 16 of 26 for 193 yards in Trabuco Hills' 35-14 victory over Huntington Beach.
Kyle Manliguis, Western: Manliguis had three interceptions and an 84-yard punt return for a TD in Western's 21-0 victory over Anaheim.