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Tustin triumph comes with painful price
TUSTIN - The final score will indicate another easy victory for Tustin, but the aftermath of the 56-0 victory Friday night against Pacifica could tell a different story.
The eighth-ranked Tillers saw their star quarterback and defensive back, Quinnton Roberson, go down because of a left knee injury late in the first half of the Empire League game at Tustin High, and the early prognosis pointed toward a serious injury, Tustin coach Myron Miller said.
"It was kind of a costly game that way," Miller said.
Roberson, a senior and returning starter from last season's Southwest Division championship team, was injured while attempting to defend a deep pass by the Mariners (3-3, 1-1) with 17 seconds remaining in the first half.
"When I was running, I stepped on it wrong, and it just buckled on me," Roberson said.
He stayed down on the Pacifica sideline for several minutes before he was helped across the field by fellow seniors Terence Martinez and David Maka.
A sullen group of teammates returned to the field after halftime, followed by Roberson on crutches.
"You could just tell the whole team was down about it," Miller said.
Before the injury, Roberson was having one of his best all-around games this season, throwing for 123 yards and a touchdown, rushing for 29 yards and intercepting a pass while helping the Tillers (7-0, 3-0) build a 35-0 lead.
"It hurts the team, but it's just heartbreaking," Miller said. "The kid has really come on this year. I hope I have enough film because that's a Division I athlete. I hope it doesn't hurt him for a scholarship."
Roberson was replaced by sophomore George Wilson, who will likely maintain the starting role as long as Roberson is out.
"Offensively, (Roberson) brings some things that only a senior can bring, but the kid that I have there, he'll step up," Miller said. "We're still going to be a pretty good football team."
The Tillers (7-0, 3-0) also lost two-way senior lineman Robert Quintanilla to a dislocated right knee cap, but Miller expects him to be back in a couple weeks.
In the meantime, the Tillers will have to get by with the few healthy linemen they have.
"That what I don't have any depth at," Miller said.