East County Sports

Vaqueros win playoff game in overtime

El Capitan running back Xavier Peace heads to the end zone. / P/J. Panebianco




LAKESIDE — For anyone questioning why Savigon Yokley is regarded one of the top players in the county at any level, just take a look at how the El Capitan senior led his team to a 41-34 overtime victory over Orange Glen on Friday in the CIF playoffs.

Yokley willed the Vaqueros back from a 28-19 halftime deficit to win the Division III opening-round game over the Patriots with flash, dash, and determination, and some help from his teammates.

Yokley scored a rushing touchdown in the second half, recorded an interception inside the 10-yard line in the fourth quarter, then scored another rushing touchdown in overtime to send El Capitan into the quarterfinals, where the Vaqueros will travel to face undefeated Mater Dei Catholic (9-0), the fourth-ranked team in the county.

For El Capitan, it was the team’s first playoff victory in seven years, when the team put together a historic run to a Southern California division championship.

The county Player of the Year candidate also led a masterful game-tying drive following his key fourth-quarter pick, throwing a touchdown pass to Julian May with two minutes to play in the fourth quarter to tie the contest.

Savi and his brother, Antwone, both had a pair of interceptions for El Cap, including one on the final play of the game in OT.

The Vaqueros’ Angel Diaz scored in the first quarter to the game at 7-all, then after Orange Glen went back in front, Bruce Newland found Yokley on a fade in the back left corner to even the score at 14-all with just under ten minutes to play in the first half.

“Savi had another big game and he won it running but Angel rambled all game,” El Capitan head coach Ron Burner said.

Xavier Peace scored on a jet sweep to give El Cap a 19-14 lead with 8:32 to play in the first half.

Peace carried eight times for 50 yards, while Diaz had 93 yards of total offense, including a 33-yard reception.

Savigon Yokley’s rushing touchdown and ensuing two-point conversion with an appropriate Superman-type dive brought the Vaqueros to within one point.

After Savi stopped a Patriot drive which would’ve given the visitors a two-touchdown led, El Capitan drove down for the tying score by May.

Savigon Yokley had 307 yards of total offense, including 171 yards passing.

El Capitan (9-2) had 434 yards of total offense.

In facing the second-seeded Crusaders in the quarterfinals, El Capitan faces an opponent that has put together a generational-type team at the school formerly known as Marian Catholic.

Mater Dei Catholic has quietly become one of the county heavyweights despite its Division III status. Even with this type of rare elite talent, the program appears headed for the upper tier of the county divisions and could be there for a number of years to come.


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