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PREP FOOTBALL: Fast start helps Elsinore beat Temescal Canyon

03/04/2013, 1:29pm PST
By By DARRELL JACKSON - For The Californian

WILDOMAR -- The Elsinore Tigers used touchdowns by three different backs and held on after a third-quarter charge to defeat Temescal Canyon 24-10 Friday night.

WILDOMAR -- The Elsinore Tigers used touchdowns by three different backs and held on after a third-quarter charge to defeat Temescal Canyon 24-10 Friday night.

"This game was huge for our kids, and to come out and win the city championship is something the kids wanted," Elsinore coach Tony Peralta said. "Now, for three years straight we have won the city championship."

Elsinore took its second possession in the game and marched 58 yards, culminating in a 2-yard touchdown run by Eric Aegerter with 1:32 left in the first quarter.

"Getting an early lead was huge for us because we thought it might take (Temescal Canyon) out of their game plan," Peralta said.

Late in the second quarter, Elsinore took the ball from the Titans 40 and marched to the 8-yard line. With 2:26 left in the first half, Daniel Rodriguez took a handoff and scored to put the Tigers up 14-0.

After the Tigers held the Titans on a three-and-out, Montay Price took the punt at the Elsinore 35, rolled to his right, broke a tackle and marched to the Titans 44. Elsinore's Juan Soto eventually nailed a 48-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to put the Tigers up 17-0.

"I am more frustrated right now," Temescal Canyon head coach Russ Strange said. "Elsinore is a good football team, but if you make a mistake against them, which we made a few, it's hard to battle back."

Michael Shepherd helped get Temescal Canyon back in the game in the third quarter. Shepherd carried the ball every down on an 11-play drive that ended when he scored on a 1-yard run.

"Some of the kids were upset (at halftime) about some calls and I told them to come out and play each play," Strange said. "They came out and responded well."

After Shepherd's touchdown, Temescal Canyon attempted an onside kick that was recovered by the Titans' Andrew Veazey at the Elsinore 48. On the first play, Garrick Crawford had a 25-yard gain. After five runs by Shepherd got the ball to the Tigers 17, Dillon Thompson connected on a 30-yard field goal.

"Holding them to a field goal there was huge," Peralta said. "The onside kick was a big momentum shift for (Temescal Canyon), but for our defense to hold them to three kind of put the game out of reach."

The Tigers added another touchdown with less than nine minutes left in the game when Seth Middlemas scored from 3 yards out.

"We made a couple of blocking adjustments at halftime and it helped us run the ball in the second half," Peralta said. "Lewis Ward came up huge for us today because they were focusing on (Middlemas), and that allowed us to control the game down the stretch to seal it."

Shepherd led all runners with 173 yards. Middlemas led the Tigers with 95 yards on the ground and Ward added 64.

"Coming into this season, we kind of knew we had something special, and to be 6-1 is a great feeling," Peralta said. "We still have some football to play, but we knew early on we had a good team."

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