CHULA VISTA Hilltop has been playing Chula Vista each year since 1959 and hasn’t had a lot of success.
In fact, the Lancers had lost 43 of the 55 going into Friday night’s nonleague Kiwanis Bowl football contest.
None of that really mattered, however, as the Lancers used a 19-play, 80-yard drive that ate more than eight minutes off the clock and then saw lineman Adrian Rios steal the ball for the clinching score in a 21-7 victory at Joseph Rindone stadium.
It was the Lancers’ third victory without a loss, the fastest start since 2009.
With the score tied 7-7, Chula Vista was marching for the go-ahead score when quarterback Hunter Gotto went into a pile of players to get a first down.
It proved costly, however, as he suffered an injury and was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
The subsequent 33-yard field goal attempt was short, however, and Hilltop started from the 20 with 10:04 to play.
Although Drake Madarang (15 carries, 115 yards) ate up most of the yardage, it was Montel Campbell who scored from three yards out to give Hilltop the lead with 2 minutes to play.
Rios added the clincher 90 seconds later when he raced 18 yards after tearing the ball out of the quarterback’s hands.