JR Justice’s 18-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown grab buoyed St. Augustine over Otay Ranch on Friday night as the Saints picked up their second nonleague road win of the football season 19-14.
After their first drive fizzled, the Saints (2-2) found their rhythm on offense behind senior quarterback Ryan Thomas. The sturdy 6-foot-3 signal-caller spread the ball around effectively before senior running back Deandre Daniels capped a 69-yard drive with a 4-yard run.
The star of the Western League Saints’ offense, however, was Justice, the explosive senior wide receiver who has committed to San Diego State. The imposing 6-3, 200-pound playmaker was too much for the Mustangs defense, consistently getting past the secondary, just as he did before the half on a 60-yard touchdown grab.
“He played four quarters and he played like 16 different positions,” St. Augustine coach Richard Sanchez said.
“I admire his will to win and overcome when they try to double-cover him. We had a game plan for him to make some plays and he did that. The guy made some incredible plays to help us get on the scoreboard.”
Metro Mesa League’s Otay Ranch (2-2) wasted no time getting the scoring started after senior quarterback Alfredo Garcia hit wide receiver Zeek Cruz in stride for 74-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Garcia, despite being the more effective option, split time throughout the game with junior quarterback Jonte Stewart.
“(The players) fought hard the entire four quarters,” Mustangs coach Lance Christensen said.
“They competed. They were physical and they never gave up. They fought to the bitter end. As a coach, what else can you ask for.”
Terrones is a freelance writer.