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Turnovers ice Woodbridge turnaround
WESTMINSTER - Westminster went into Friday night’s CIF-SS Southern Division playoff contest on a five-game winning streak, but was harshly reminded how cruel the playoffs can be as the Lions lost two fourth-quarter fumbles and fell to Woodbridge, 20-17, at home.
Woodbridge scored only once in the second half, but it proved to be enough to advance to play host to Katella in the second round.
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Facing a 17-13 deficit in the final period, the Warriors came up with a crucial takeaway when Philip Hong pounced on a Westminster fumble that gave Woodbridge the ball at the Lions’ 18.
On the ensuing play, Matt Callahan threw an 18-yard score to Austin DeFreitas that gave Woodbridge the lead.
Westminster was able to use a 10-point third quarter to turn a halftime deficit into a four-point lead.
Nathan Juarez recovered a Warriors fumble and the Lions took over inside the 10.
Two plays later, David Fludd scored a 5-yard touchdown that gave Westminster its first lead.
The Lions then forced a three-and-out and used a 58-yard reception by Matt Alvarez to set up a field goal by Rodrigo Miranda to pad their slim lead.
As Westminster tried to come back, it lost another fumble after Humberto Maciel broke a long run but was stripped as he fought for extra yardage, ending any chance of a Lions go-ahead score.
Woodbridge took over on at its own 4 with 3:35 to play, and DeFreitas helped the Warriors eat up the clock with some key first downs to seal Westminster’s playoff fate.