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Christian Bautista is like the football equivalent of a pinch hitter or closer in baseball.

He only enters for a few plays a game, but when he does, he makes it count.

The senior running back scored on a five-run burst up the middle with 1:37 remaining to lift host Mira Mesa to a thrilling 13-12 nonleague victory over Chula Vista Friday.

“He’s our specialty guy,” said Marauders coach Gary Blevins. “His legs are so tightly wound, he can only play for four or five plays a game. But when he runs, it’s like he’s shot out of a cannon.”

Bautista carried six times on Mira Mesa’s game-winning drive – the only series he played – rushing for 32 yards as the Marauders drove 63 yards in 2:42 to improve to 3-1.

“It felt great just to see the hole open up,” Bautista said. “All the credit goes to my lineman and God.

“When I’m waiting to play, I just stay calm. I know I’m going to get my reps.”

Mira Mesa also was helped on the final drive by a pair of 15-yard personal foul penalties assessed against the Spartans (1-3).

The game belonged to the defenses until the fourth quarter, when the lead changed hands three times.

Mira Mesa’s Chamberlin Liddell-Patacsil scored on a two-run yard and Jonathan Bennett added the extra point to give the Marauders their first points with 7:12 remaining.

On the ensuring possession, Chula Vista’s Daniel Bender snuck in behind the defense to haul in a wide open pass from Hunter Gallo for a 24-yard touchdown reception, putting the Spartans back up 12-7 with 4:29 left.

Then it was time for Marauders to call on their closer.

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