SAN MARCOS San Marcos overcame an 11-point, second-half deficit to beat Valley Center for the first time since 1999, 31-28 Friday.
Senior Dustin Lorenzen scored the game-winner on a four-yard run less than a minute into the fourth quarter, but the Knights couldn’t relax until the Jaguars’ final pass was swatted down near the 30.
“It was a nail-biter,” said San Marcos coach Jason Texler. “The kids played hard and to be victorious in the end, that was great.”
Valley Center (2-5, 0-2) appeared to be in control when Brad Dozier scored on a one-yard dive midway through the third quarter to give the Jaguars a 28-17 lead.
But the Knights (5-2, 1-0) responded with a quick, six-play drive, highlighted by a 32-yard pass play from quarterback James Harwell to Chase Olson.
Harwell finished the drive with a four-yard run, his third TD of the game.
And then, on the first play of the Knights’ next possession, Andrew Alaniz shook loose for a 35-yard scamper, setting up Lorenzen’s heroics.
Harwell passed for 170 yards, rushed for 48 and kicked a 27-yard field goal in a gutty all-around effort for San Marcos.
The Knights’ senior captain Isiah Hennie added an 81-yard kickoff return to set up a score and a leaping, highlight-reel interception.
Dalton Larabee rushed for a game-high 147 yards and Daniel Deleon threw for a pair of scores for Valley Center.