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Valley Center rallies for win with TD in final minutes

09/01/2017, 11:00pm PDT
By Rick Hoff

Valley Center running back Mateo Sinohui busts through the line as Otay Ranch defenders close in dur

Trailing by a touchdown in the fourth period after surrendering a 14-point lead at home, the Valley Center High football team did not fold up the tent.

“Our guys never fold,” coach Rob Gilster said Friday night after his Jaguars rallied for a 28-21 nonleague victory over Otay Ranch. “We may have made a zillion mistakes tonight, but we were able to come out with a win.

“That’s the spirit of our guys and our coaching staff. We don’t give up.”

Valley Center (2-0) scored the winning points on a 31-yard touchdown run by junior running back Mateo Sinohui with 1:52 remaining in the fourth period, followed by a two-point conversion run by quarterback K.J Mazzetti, also a junior.

“When they busted that long run at the end, it took a lot out of us,” said Otay Ranch coach Lance Christensen. “That’s a really good football team over there, and we battled them to the end.”

“The Mustangs (1-1) overcame a 14-0 first-half deficit and broke a 14-14 tie when Sammy Paranada scored his second TD of the game on a 10-yard scamper with 9:41 left in the fourth quarter.


Valley Center responded less than three minutes later when Mazzetti tossed his third scoring pass of the night to senior wide receiver Keith Vasquez, this one covering 7 yards with 6:56 left. Otay Ranch maintained the lead when the Jaguars failed to convert the extra point.

The hosts began their winning drive with 4:35 remaining following a Mustangs punt. Mazzetti completed 4 of 4 passes on the winning series, including three to Zachary Mahrenholz.

For the game, Mazzetti completed 21 of 35 passes for 257 yards. Mahrenholz had 10 receptions for 128 yards.

Hoff is a freelance writer.

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