East County Sports

Wolf Pack outlast Matadors in overtime

Mount Miguel's SHEMAR GREENE is grabbed by West Hills defenders Friday night. / EastCountySports photo




By Ramon Scott



SANTEE – West Hills junior quarterback HAYDEN ROACH scored a two-point conversion on a quarterback sneak on the final play of overtime, lifting the Wolf Pack to a 29-28 victory over the equally-tough Mount Miguel Matadors Friday night.

“I went to the sideline and said, ‘coach, you gotta give me the ball, there is no one lined up over the center’,” said the West Hills signal caller. “I said, “we’re going to put the points on the board and get out of here with this win.'”

It capped a wild game that saw ups-and-downs for both teams as the Matadors kept answering West Hills’ touchdowns after trailing 14-0 in the first half.


West Hills’ HAYDEN ROACH tried to escape the grasp of Mount Miguel’s MUGABEE MILLER Friday night in Santee. / EastCountySports photo

West Hills took a 14-7 lead into halftime, as the Matadors cracked the scoreboard for the first time when QB BENNY VALADEZ threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to senior RICHARD MOORE, who out-jumped his defender to catch the well-timed aerial just inside the left pylon late in the first half.

On the Matadors’ first possession of the second half, Mount Miguel’s SHEMAR GREENE turned what looked to be a sure third-down loss into a 44-yard gain to inside the 5-yard line.

The Matadors’ Valadez scored a touchdown with a short 1-yard keeper to the left side off a fake tailback dive, that left the senior with an easy jaunt to the end zone with just under eight minutes left in the third. The PAT was good for a 14-all tie.

Roach, meanwhile, was a pest with his running in crucial situations.

West Hills quickly moved down into the Mount Miguel red zone and the Wolf Pack capitalized with a 15-yard bootleg rollout to the left for a touchdown by Roach, as he scrambled looking for a receiver before tucking the ball and taking off upfield for the score.

The Matadors’ next scoring drive looked just as easy, as Mount Miguel capped a swift drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Valadez to senior CESAR SIGALA on a timing fade just inside the front left corner of the end zone. The PAT equalized the score, 21-21.

West Hills next-to-last drive looked promising until a third-down holding call would end up necessitating a punt.

Mount Miguel offered the Pack one last chance in in the fourth after West Hills sacked Valaldez back to the 10, forcing a punt from deep in the Matadors’ own end zone.

The Wolf Pack started at the Matadors’ 48 and rushed down for a field goal attempt, which was blocked by Mount Miguel forcing OT. West Hills also missed a field goal attempt in the first half.

Greene scored on a 19-yard touchdown run for Mount Miguel behind some terrific blocking and the PAT give the Matadors a 7-point advantage. The hole was provided by seniors EMIN SHERZAD, JASON HERNANDEZ, ANTHONY YARBOROUGH and CAMERON HANSON.

West Hills got a bruising short run from GRIFFIN GUINN for its OT score, which was contested to the official by a Matador defender, drawing an unsportsmanlike foul.

The Wolf Pack opted to go for the two points with the closer goal and Roach muscled his way through behind his line, as the Pack sprinted back to the bench to celebrate the win in front of the home stand.

“That was a great game,” Roach said. “That was easily the craziest game I have ever been a part of. It was a great team win.”

Pushing the Pack to victory on the goal line surges were seniors OSCAR MORALES, AUSTIN MCCARTNEY, ZACHARY THOMAS WEAVER and PHILIP CORNELIUS.

“Our O-line has been playing phenomenal all season,” Roach said. “I think we are definitely a running offense with Griffin Guinn, a big fullback, and JOVAN (BEA) is an excellent running back. I just fill the role of what I need to do.”

Asked whether he would have gone for a conversion kick to tie the game, Wolf Pack coach CASEY ASH said, “Well we only needed to get six inches after those two penalties. Thanks to the work of our offensive line, Roach ended up 3 yards deep in the endzone.”

Greene finished with 141 yards for the Matadors on 18 carries, while SANTINO PACHECO rushed for 63 yards on 17 carries.

Mount Miguel got a team-high 16 tackles from safety DAMIEN YERENA, while Hanson came up with 13 stops.

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