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Tustin wins wild battle with Foothill
TUSTIN - Darron Minnix and the Tustin secondary might have felt as if they were being picked on at times during Friday's nonleague home game against Foothill.
In the end, Minnix had the last laugh.
With Foothill driving for a potential tying touchdown, Minnix, a junior, intercepted a Jack Gilchrist pass inside the 20 to preserve a 35-28 home victory for the Tillers (2-0).
Foothill fell to 1-1.
"I saw him (the receiver) go inside, I came up and I saw the quarterback throw the ball and I just caught it," Minnix said.
Gilchrist was pressured on the play by David Maka and Ed Tandy.
"That has to be a good confidence for the secondary," Tustin coach Myron Miller said. "We were up against a good quarterback and some good receivers. They torched us pretty good, but we were able to get in better position and finally made some plays."
It was a difference of halves for the Tillers defense.
In the first half, Gilchrist completed 10 of 11 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns. In the second half, his first two passes were intercepted, both by Diontre Rodriguez.
"We didn't want to make any mistakes," Rodriguez said of the second half. "The key was everybody knowing their assignments and making plays.
"We struggled in the first half, but we made some adjustments and we made it happen."
With the score tied at 28-28 in the fourth quarter, Tustin took possession with 9:47 remaining.
Starting from its own 21, Tustin stayed on the ground with its trademark double-wing attack, eventually ending with Quinnton Roberson's 1-yard score for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:13 remaining.
Foothill moved the ball quickly on its next series, taking the ball to the Tustin 14 before Minnix's interception.
"I was really proud of my guys in the end," Miller said. "I loved the way we came back. That was our trademark last year in the playoffs.
"This one here, we were down 21-7 and we just decided not to lose the game."
Tustin has now won five consecutive regular-season meetings against their rival.
Foothill took a 21-7 lead in the second quarter on Gilchrist's third touchdown pass of the night, a 6-yarder to Jullian Moss.
In the second half, Rodriguez's first interception, a 25-yard return tied the score at 21.
Later in the third quarter, Rodriguez 's second interception gave the Tillers the ball on the Foothill 29. Nine plays later, Martinez went in from the 4 to give the Tillers their first lead of the game, 28-21.
Foothill tied the score on Gilchrist's 4-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Okereke.
Gilchrist completed 17 of 23 passes for 237 yards for the Knights.
"It is always a classic battle between Tustin and Foothill," Knights coach Doug Case said. "It was a dog fight, went back and forth the whole game and unfortunately we didn't come out on top.
"You can't make mistakes if you want to win this type of football game. We came out in the third quarter and put ourselves in a hole a little bit, but our kids responded and worked hard."
That's just what the Tillers offense did. Martinez rushed for 183 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. DaVonte Young rushed for 183 yards on 19 carries.
"That's not a bad night," Miller said.