By Zach Cavanagh

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – It was tight, defensive slobber-knocker for three quarters between San Juan Hills and Edison, then it all quickly unraveled.

Edison scored a touchdown, intercepted back-to-back San Juan Hills pass attempts, including a pick-six, and knocked in a field goal in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to swing a 14-all tie into a victory for the visiting Chargers, 33-14, on Friday at San Juan Hills High School.

“When you make mistakes like that, they’re going to capitalize,” San Juan Hills coach Rob Frith said. “It’s a close game, and what we’re waiting for is somebody to make the mistake and let the other team take over. Unfortunately, we were the ones that made the mistake. We feel like we’ve got a ball game, and then we turn the ball over.”

San Juan Hills (1-3) led coming out of halftime, 7-0. At the break, Edison (2-2) was held to 68 yards of offense, but San Juan Hills also struggled with only 84 yards of offense.

The Stallions failed to earn a first down on their first two drives of the half as Edison tied the game on a 66-yard drive and took the lead on a 49-yard, one-play drive, 14-7.

“What we’ve seen here in these first few games is that our defense is on the field a lot,” Frith said. “There’s only so much gas in the tank. That’s a good football team and they’re pounding the football. Those reps add up after a while. We just couldn’t get first downs and keep those guys off the field.”

San Juan Hills responded and tied the game on a four-play drive that culminated in a 53-yard pass-and-catch from junior quarterback Jake Carreon to a wide open Carson Lewis.

Edison came back with a five-plus minute drive and scored in the first minute of the fourth quarter to retake the lead, 21-14.

Following a touchback, San Juan Hills’ first play was a pass that was thrown to the right side and picked off for an interception return touchdown. Edison took and doubled the lead, 28-14, in 18 second of game time.

“I don’t think it was a back-breaker,” Frith said of the pick-six. “Obviously it hurts and you’re chasing points, but our guys play for 48 minutes. They still believed we had a chance, but then the next pick after that, that’s the dagger.”

After another touchback, the Stallions’ second play was intercepted. Edison’s quarterback was injured on their first play with the ball, and the Chargers settled for a field goal, 31-14.

Sophomore Hudson Jones took over the San Juan Hills offense on the next series and became the fourth quarterback to attempt a pass this season for the Stallions.

A shotgun snap went wide of Jones and into the end zone, and Edison downed the Stallion that recovered the ball for a safety and the final score, 33-14.

Carreon finished 11 of 19 passing for 151 yards passing and two touchdowns, but the Stallions only rushed for 20 yards as a team, excluding the three sacks and the safety.

“I think what we need to do is find some balance on this team,” Frith said. “The defense, we have a lot of experienced guys coming back and they take pride in playing defense. We need to compliment our defensive play on the offensive side of the football and not give teams extra opportunities. We need to be better with the football. We’ve turned the ball over in the red zone a few times. It’s a collective effort.”

San Juan Hills began the game on the fortunate side of a bouncing ball.

The opening kickoff was a pooch kick by the Stallions. Edison couldn’t handle the high flipping ball, and San Juan Hills recovered at the Edison 19-yard line.

Edison stuffed a San Juan Hills fourth-down attempt at the goal line, but the Chargers were pinned deep at the two-yard line.

San Juan Hills forced a three-and-out and took over at the Edison 41.

The Stallions made quick work of the possession as Carreon took the first play, threw swiftly to the left where Joey Hobert took the ball down the sideline on a 41-yard touchdown pass for the lead, 7-0.

From there it was all defense in the first half.

San Juan Hills racked up three sacks by Darius Jackson, Sean Rhyan and Jonah Johnson, and Edison collected two sacks.

After Edison converted a fake punt for a 29-yard run, San Juan Hills pulled off their own fourth-down, goal-line stop of Edison in the final minute of the half to keep the Chargers off the board.

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