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Whittier Christian squeezes past Torrance

FOR OCVARSITY.COM

WHITTIER - With his team clinging to a three-point lead with 1:55 to play, David Fischer picked up a first down by the nose of the football on third down, then put the game away with a 47-yard touchdown run on the next play as Whittier Christian defeated Torrance, 38-28, on Friday in a CIF-SS Northwest Division first-round playoff game at Whittier College.

The Heralds (8-3) turned to their running the game in the second half. They rushed for 189 yards in the second half, with Fischer gaining for 110 of his 114 yards in the half.

Fischer, who scored three touchdowns, was not even the Heralds' leading rusher. Quarterback Ryan Esslinger rushed for a game-high 155 yards.

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The Heralds trailed, 14-3, before Esslinger drove his team to a pair of second-quarter touchdowns, the first using his legs, the second his arm. On the first drive, Esslinger took off on a 60-yard run to the 1-yard line to set up the first Fischer touchdown.

Then Esslinger gave the Heralds the lead as he drove his team 90 yards in 1:08 as he connected with Cody Bronkar on a 60-yard pass and then a 19-yard scoring pass to Bronkar. Bronkar finished with six catches for 118 yards.

The Heralds needed every score to hold off the Tartars (5-6), who rolled up 490 yards of total offense. But the defense made just enough stops with Jacob Hughes leading the way with four tackles for a loss, including a sack.

The Heralds will travel to Nordhoff of Ojai for a second-round game next Friday after the Rangers defeated Sierra Vista of Baldwin Park, 44-0, in their first game.


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