For openers, the Valley Center and Mar Vista high school football teams came up with a wild one.
Junior quarterback Daniel DeLeon broke through the Mariners defense for a 7-yard touchdown run with 6.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to bring the host Jaguars to within one point, and DeLeon then passed to tight end Josh Lucas for the deciding two-point conversion, giving the Jaguars a wild 34-33 victory Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
The late score capped a roller-coaster fourth quarter that included two touchdowns by each team in the final 3:34 of the game. It appeared that the Mariners had wrapped up a tough road win by scoring two touchdowns just 26 seconds apart, including a 56-yard pass from Brandon Scales to Pono Cavaco and a 1-yard scoring run by Daniel Lujan just one play after an interception by Scales.
The loss spoiled a 246-yard rushing effort by Mar Vista’s Jimmie Hill, who scored on runs of 9, 11 and 71 yards.
The Mariners held the Jaguars’ rushing game in check until Brad Dozier rumbled 59 yards for a touchdown that gave Valley Center a 26-21 lead with 3:34 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The game was a rematch of last year’s Division IV playoff quarterfinals, when the Jaguars prevailed 23-21.