With six consecutive wins under their belt to begin the season, the San Juan Hills Stallions seemed to have all the momentum heading into a Sea View league matchup on October 5th against the Laguna Hills Hawks at San Juan Hills High. However, the Stallions quest for an undefeated regular season came to an end, as the Hawks put together a strong defensive effort to come away with a 23-14 victory.
Laguna Hills (4-2, 1-1 league) jumped out to an early lead, scoring on a 57-yard touchdown strike on the second play of the game. The Stallions (6-1, 0-1) were fooled by a play action fake, and senior quarterback Kevin Cunningham threw a strike to receiver Will King, who was wide open down the middle of the field.
The Hawks then leaned on their defense and special teams, as they tacked on two more field goals, and held San Juan Hills to zero points with only 21 yards rushing to take a 13-0 lead into halftime.
The beginning of the second half seemed to be more of the same, as the Hawks intercepted San Juan Hills quarterback Jacob Gibson to set up short field position and an easy touchdown to take a 20-0 lead.
The Stallions quickly drove down the field and scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Gibson to junior receiver Kyle Mucerino to cut it to 20-7.
A crucial Laguna Hills fumble set up the Stallions in great field position for a two-yard touchdown run by Corey White, making it a one possession game with 5:48 to play.
Some critical penalties plagued San Juan Hills as the clock wound down and the penalties eventually led to a Laguna Hills field goal, effectively ending it with 44 seconds remaining.
“Our defense played well enough to win, but offensively we couldn’t get it going until a little too late. I was proud of how we fought back, but we got to get back to work on Monday, and get the win next week,” Stallions head coach Aaron Flowers said.