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Garden Grove rides Webb to win in Southern final
The Argonauts rally to beat Beckman, 31-30, on two spectacular scoring plays by the senior in the final two minutes.
COSTA MESA - Josh Webb has made many spectacular plays this season to get Garden Grove to the CIF-SS Southern Division finals for the second consecutive season.
But he left the crowd in awe with his 5-yard touchdown reception and 2-point conversion run with 1:27 left to give the Argonauts a 31-30 victory over Beckman on Friday night at Orange Coast College.
"Amazing," first-year Garden Grove coach Willy Puga said. "He's amazing. He's the best I've ever coached."
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Webb rushed for 191 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries and he had 10 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns to help the Argos (13-1) win their first championship in school history.
Garden Grove needed some heroics from Webb when it took over at its own 38, facing a 30-23 deficit with 3:40 remaining.
On third and 10, Jovani Duran connected with Webb for a 12-yard gain to midfield. The Argos kept moving until they stalled and were facing a fourth-and-6 at Beckman's 36. Webb came to the rescue with a 9-yard catch to keep Garden Grove drive alive.
Duran connected with Avery Williams, who had seven catches for 93 yards, for a 23-yard gain to the 5-yard line. That set the stage for one of the most memorable touchdowns in county history.
"My coach is like, 'We're giving you the ball, get over the top,' " Webb said. "I wasn't going to let anyone stop me."
Duran hit Webb with a short pass at the line of scrimmage. Webb juked one defender, then bolted for the goal line, did a summersault over a defender and landed in the end zone. That cut Beckman's lead to 30-29.
"He does that all on his own," Puga said. "That's not in the playbook."
The Argos were faced with a decision: Go for the tie or go for the victory?
"We were going for two no matter what," Webb said. "We weren't going to overtime."
Webb added another amazing play to the highlight reel. Everybody in the stadium knew he was getting the ball, but it didn't matter. Webb ran on the 2-point conversion and got into the end zone with a twisting leap over two defenders, giving the Argos a 31-30 lead with 1:27 remaining
"There's no quit in this team," Puga said. "I'm so proud of them. They never got down. They never panicked. We knew we could go down and score and we did."
Beckman had one more chance when it took over at its own 35 with 1:20 remaining. Brian Zozano recorded his second sack of the game on Beckman quarterback Cameron Biedgoly on first down. Three incomplete passes later and Garden Grove was celebrating its championship.
"I just wish we could have stopped No. 3 (Webb) a little bit more," Beckman coach Fred Shambaugh said. "It was a remarkable football game. It's a shame somebody had to lose. Both teams, the sportsmanship was outstanding. It was a great game."
Beckman look ready to claim the championship when it scored with 3:40 left in the game and took a 30-23 lead. Biedgoly faked a handoff and tossed over the middle to tight end Austin Archer who took the ball into the end zone for a 22-yard TD.
Biedgoly finished with 179 passing yards, and Jeff Kim rushed for 131 yards.
But the Patriots couldn't hold off Webb and the rest of the Argonauts.
“We came out and played our game, they came out and played their game,” Biedgoly said. "We had a great season, I’m proud of everybody.”
Garden Grove's players played for the memory of their fallen teammate Kevin Telles, who died last season. The Argos rallied around Telles' passing and made it all the way to the 2009 finals before losing to La Mirada.
"The journey is complete," Puga said. "We felt we had the talent to get back here. There's just no quit in these guys. I'm so happy for them. I'm so happy for the school and the community."
Said Webb: "We worked hard for this. We wanted to get back here from the start. Last year, we came up short. We weren't going to come up short this year for Kevin."
Beckman, an at-large team that finished fifth in the Pacific Coast League before rallying to reach the finals for the first time, finished the season 8-6.
The score was tied at halftime, 13-13. Beckman took the lead on a 15-yard scoring run by Kim with seven minutes to go in the third quarter.
- Tim Burt contributed to this story.