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PREP FOOTBALL: Despite fast start, Tahquitz loses league opener

03/04/2013, 1:28pm PST
By By FRANK BARTHOLOMEW For The Californian

SAN JACINTO — Two terrific drives weren't enough to prevent 

SAN JACINTO — Two terrific drives weren't enough to prevent  Tahquitz from dropping its Mountain Pass League opener to San Jacinto by a score of 42-14 Friday night.

Noah Widgins led San Jacinto to the win with 280 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

"We felt confident coming into the game," said Tahquitz coach Dennis Gregovich, whose team got its first victory of the season in its last game two weeks ago. "We started fast, but you can't make mistakes against quality team. We just lost that spark we had come in with."

Tahquitz opened the game with a short pooch kick, which may have surprised the Tigers. In any case, when no San Jacinto player touched the ball, sophomore Ronald Walton recovered it, giving the Titans great field position at the San Jacinto 32-yard line.

A middle screen from quarterback Ben Moreno to running back Jonte Price on a third-and-5 play moved the ball to the 16. Two plays later, Moreno scrambled to his right and found Adrian Preciado in the corner of the end zone for the score. The extra point gave the Titans a 7-0 lead.

After kicking off again, sophomore Casey Miller came up big twice for Tahquitz. First, he sacked San Jacinto quarterback Kevn Clark for a 4-yard loss on second down and then dragged him down again for no gain on third down, forcing a punt.

The Titans (1-5 overall) took over on their own 35-yard line and moved the ball to the Tigers' 23 before the drive stalled and they had to punt.

Things went sour from there in a hurry as Jacinto (5-1, 1-1) scored 42 straight points.

Despite giving up so many points in a row, the Titans didn't quit. On its only possession of the fourth quarter, Tahquitz drove 79 yards in 14 plays to score the final touchdown of the evening. Sophomore Fernando Blanco dove in for a 1-yard score with less than a minute to play.

Tahquitz's offense produced 13 first downs to San Jacinto's 11, but the Tigers scored on many long plays.

Moreno completed 12-of-24 passes for 147 yards and the touchdown. Jonte Price ran for 89 yards on 17 carries. The Titans did not turn the ball over.

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