CHULA VISTA The Hilltop Lancers are starting to believe they can do almost anything.
They became the first Hilltop team since 1979 to go 5-0 as they rallied to down visiting Otay Ranch 7-6 Friday night.
“They’re just a bunch of scrappers,” Lancers coach Cody Roelof said. “They just don’t know how to give up.”
After being frustrated all night by the Otay Ranch defense, the Lancers finally broke through with just 4:04 left in the game. Quarterback Daniel Sanchez called his own number on a keeper around the left side for the TD on a huge fourth-and-goal.
“When I knew I had my number called I knew I could not be stopped,” Sanchez said.
It looked like the return of quarterback Kyle Hawkins was going to be the difference for the Mustangs (1-4).
He made an early impact after a muffed punt by the Lancers gave the Mustangs the ball in Hilltop territory at the 40. Big runs by Justin Doton (18 yards) and Emilio Razo (14 yards) gave Otay Ranch a first-and-goal at the 7.
Two handoffs to Razo up the middle got it to the 2. Then Hawkins faked and kept around the left side for the score with 1:04 left in the opening quarter.
The actual difference proved to be when the Lancers’ Lewis Hernandez split the uprights with his conversion after Sanchez’s TD. The Mustangs’ attempt earlier in the game failed.