9/3/2012 8:12:00 AM Yellow Jackets survive in overtime, 33-32
By Randy Peterson Sports Reporter
After dominating most of the first half, then seeing the momentum shift over the final minutes of the first half and early in the second half, the Palo Verde High School Yellow Jacket football team rallied to force overtime and survived a pair of extra periods to claim a 33-32 win over Escondido Charter in their opener at Scott Stadium Friday night.
"We were able to overcome our mental mistakes and win the ball game," said Jacket football coach, George Dagnino. "Defensively, we had some key stops to keep the momentum from swinging the other way."
The key stop came in the second overtime period as Escondido Charter coaches opted to go for two points following their touchdown and trailing by one. It wasn't the only time the Jacket defense had stepped up to the occasion but it was the most important as it preserved a win for the Jackets.
Palo Verde had built a 10-0 advantage in the second quarter after neither team could find the end zone in the opening quarter. Felix Ruiz had put the Jackets on the board early in the second period with a 39-yard field goal and Richard Henderson hauled in a 16-yard scoring pass from Jacket quarterback Ryan Galvan late in the quarter to give the Jackets the 10-point cushion.
Rafael Adame had intercepted a White Tiger pass with just over five minutes to play and Chris Navarro set up the score with runs of 10 and 16 yards before the pass to Henderson.
A long kickoff return and a Jacket penalty got Charter in position to cut into the lead just before the half and the Tigers took advantage with their initial touchdown to go to the intermission down 10-7.
The Tigers continued their momentum swing by returning the second half kickoff 95 yards for their second TD to give them their first lead of the night.
Escondido executed a perfect on-side kick following the second TD but the Jacket defense kept their guests from advancing into Jacket territory.
While the Jacket offense struggled in the third quarter, the defense continued to do its job as they stuffed the Tigers on the next possession and set up the second 39-yard field goal Ruiz kicked to pull the Jackets even at 13-13 entering the final period.
Charter regained the lead with just under nine minutes to play in the game on a 33-yard run by their quarterback.
The Jackets missed a golden opportunity to pull even again when less than a minute later they lost a fumble deep in Tiger territory. It fell on the defense to respond again.
Defensive lineman, Alberto Loureiro, pounced on a Charter fumble three plays later.
This time the Jacket offense wasted no time as Galvan found KJ Bryant with a 42-yard scoring toss to knot the game at 20-20.
Neither team could manage another first down over the final five minutes so the two teams went to overtime.
The Jackets opted to take the ball in the first overtime and Galvan hit Treshaun Edmond with a 10-yard scoring pass. The point after attempt was the only kick of the night that Ruiz would miss but after the Tigers punched in a touchdown on their third offensive play, the Charter kicker reciprocated with a missed kick.
The second overtime saw the Jackets again score first as Navarro hauled in a six-yard toss from Galvan and Ruiz was successful with his PAT attempt.
The Tigers scored on their second play and opted to go for the win.
"The kids played hard and together and that's important in close games," said Dagnino. "We have to build on this and improve in all areas of the game."
One of Dagnino's keys was to balance his offense and the Jackets actually ran the ball more downs than passing it.
Galvan was good on 10 of his 20 throws and finished with 135 yards and four touchdowns while not suffering any picks.
The leading receiver was Henderson with four catches for 54 yards, all in the first half while Josh Messerli had two catches for 17 yards. Bryant, Edmond, and Navarro each caught one pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter or overtime and each went for touchdowns.
Top rusher for the Jackets was Bryant who carried eight times for 49 yards while Andres Cardenas managed 38 yards on his eight carries. Navarro finished with 36 yards on seven totes while Landon Bishoff gained six yards on his one carry.
Defensively, Ivan Aguayo led the Jackets with eight solo stops and an assist while Louriero finished with six tackles, two for losses, and added two assists and the big fumble recovery. Bishoff had six solo tackles while Nick George had four solos, two assists, and a sack. Roy Reid helped with three solos and five assists as Chris Shoemate, Cardenas, and Bryant each had four solo stops.
"The fans were great, the boosters were great, and the atmosphere was great," said Dagnino. "We need the house rocking every Friday night."
The Jacket fans won't have long to wait as Palo Verde will take on Shadow Hills on Friday night at Scott Stadium. JV game is set for a 4 p.m. start with the varsity contest to follow at 7 p.m.