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Knights finish strong vs. Spartans

09/05/2014, 11:40pm PDT
By Alex Riggins, Special to the U-T

San Marcos recovers after squandering three-touchdown lead

San Marcos quarterback James Harwell rushed for 56 yards against Chula Vista.

— San Marcos nearly squandered a three-touchdown lead before roaring back late to beat host Chula Vista 41-24 on Friday.

The Knights (2-0) jumped out to a 21-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter when James Harwell connected with Tyler Nix for an 18-yard touchdown. But Chula Vista scored three straight touchdowns — and missed three straight conversion attempts — to cut the deficit to just a field goal midway through the third quarter.

But San Marcos scored on its next three possessions to secure the win.

Harwell completed 21 of 34 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns and added a 14-yard TD on the ground to lead the Knights. Harwell rushed for 56 yards and completed passes to eight different receivers.

“It will be huge if we’re lucky enough to be 2-0,” San Marcos coach Jason Texler said before the game, and his team certainly needed good fortune.

The Knights turned the ball over four times after starting six first-half drives in Chula Vista territory. But a few timely sacks and turnovers when Chula Vista cut into the lead, and a big defensive stop on fourth down, turned luck in their favor.

San Marcos’ Johnny McWilliams caught three passes for 61 yards and two TDs, Nix caught seven passes for 79 yards and a TD and Hobart Teets caught a 14-yard scoring throw.

Chula Vista (0-2) struggled with penalties but still managed to cut the deficit to three points in the third quarter when Mario Cabada connected with Brandon Cabrera for a 32-yard score.

But Semaj Wren’s 1-yard touchdown plunge gave San Marcos a 10-point cushion the Spartans couldn’t overcome.

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