(Covina) – It happened again…almost. Again West Covina led by double digits in the fourth quarter and again Covina came roaring back. But unlike last year, this time the Bulldogs survived and beat the Colts 26-20 in overtime Saturday night at Covina District Field.
I was thinking the fourth quarter was similar to last year. They had lot of momentum but our guys never quit,” said West Covina Coach Mike Maggiore.
With the score tied at 20 after regulation, West Covina got the ball first and used a pass to Lonzell Barnett by Chris Caballero and a big Caballero run to move the ball down to the two yard line. From there Aaron Salgado punched it in for a 26-20 advantage.
Covina was stopped on the next possession, when Billy Livingston’s pass into the end zone from the 11 yard line fell incomplete and West Covina held on.
Covina was down 20-6 entering the fourth quarter and scored twice to tie invoking memories of last year’s winning rally from a 21-2 deficit. Livingston hit a wide open Vinny Venegas early in the fourth for a 68 yard touchdown.
Later in the period after Caballero was sacked, Livingston threw the ball long over the middle to Peter De La Cruz for a 51 yard score and after the extra point it was 20-20.
West Covina had a chance at the end of regulation but time ran out after Bradley Ojala caught a pass from Caballero and was tackled at the Covina 15 yard line.
Caballero hooked up in the first quarter on a 20 yard pass play to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 advantage. It appeared West Covina would take that lead into halftime but a fumble on the exchange from center by Caballero at the Bulldog 20 with 4.9 seconds left gave the Colts life. Livingston immediately cashed in on the mistake by firing a touchdown strike to Justin Mason with no time remaining. The extra point attempt failed and it was 7-6 at halftime.
“I was just going to run a play to run out the clock,” Maggiore said. “I guess we should have taken a knee.”
The Bulldogs forged a two touchdown lead in the third quarter behind the running of Jimmy Frazier and Salgado. Frazier scored on a 23 yard romp up the middle with 7:13 left in the third to put the Dogs up 13-6. The point after failed.
Salgado went in from two yards out with 30 seconds left in the third. The score was set up a 58 yard pass play from Caballero to Aaron Franklin.
It was 20-6 and the Bulldogs looked golden. But this was West Covina-Covina and it was only fitting that Livingston and company stormed back.
The West Co running attack was in full throttle despite the loss of Chris Solomon. Solomon left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury.
“I don’t know the status in him yet. We’ll find out tonight,” Maggiore said of Solomon. “But our other guys stepped up.”
Salgado and Frazier combined for 129 yards and three touchdowns. Caballero threw for 163 yards in only one half of play. Jon Najera started and played the first half at QB for the WC.
Livingston completed 12 of 19 for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
Although painful to lose Thomas was pleased with his team.
“We have bigger goals than week zero. We’re going to look at the film and get back to work,” Thomas said. “We have a lot of fighters on this team.”
WC 7 0 13 0 6 26
C 0 6 0 14 0 20
WC 3:20 Ojala 20 yd pass from Najera (Johnny Rios Kick)
C :00 Mason 20 yd pass from Livingston (Kick Failed)
WC 7:13 Frazier 23 yd run (Kick Failed)
WC :30 Salgado 2 yd run (Rios Kick)
C Venegas 68 yd pass from Livingston (Kick Good)
C De La Cruz 51 yd pass from Livingston (Kick Good)
WC Salgado 2 yd run (Kick Failed)