(La Canada) – Arroyo rallied from a 21-7 deficit in the second quarter and held on to beat La Canada 23-21 Friday night.
It figured to be a long night for the Knights when Peter Aholoka fumbled the opening kick off out of bounds at the one yard line. The Spartans turned it into two points when Aholoka was tackled in the endzone on the first play from scrimmage for a safety.
La Canada got the ball back on the ensuing kick off and marched 48 yards on seven plays. Quarterback Grant Owen, who was playing for starter Matt Jones who was out with an appendicitis, finished the drive with a 12 yard run.
Arroyo had only run one offensive play and was already down 8-0. The Knights responded with an 80 yard drive that culminated with a 20 yard touchdown pass from Steven Rivera to Hunter Duran.
Andy Painter scored on 13 yard touchdown run early in the second and when Owen got loose again, this time on a 64 yard run for a score mid way through the second quarter, the Spartans had forged a 21-7 advantage. La Canada never scored again.
A bad snap off a punt attempt resulted in an Arroyo safety. Later in the quarter, the Rivera- Duran connection worked again on a 45 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 21-16 at the half.
In the second half, Aholoka set up the final Knight score with a 54 yard run down to the La Canada 8. From there Rivera did it himself with an eight yard touchdown sprint up the middle.
In the fourth quarter La Canada missed a 44 yard field goal attempt that would have given them the lead. Arroyo couldn’t take advantage and fumbled the ball back to La Canada.
The Spartans had one final shot and moved the ball down to the Arroyo 29 but coughed it up themselves. Rivera, who seemingly did everything for the Knights, fell on the ball to secure the victory.
A 25 yard run by Aholoka helped kill the clock. Aholoka finished with 156 yards on 13 carries. Rivera completed 17 of 30 for 251 yards and two scores. He also rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown. Several of his incompletions were the result of dropped passes.
“Yeah we should have been down by more than five at the half the way we played,” said Arroyo Coach Jim Singiser. “We just need to do a better job of catching the ball. As for Peter you never fumble the opening kick off but later on yeah he did what we expect him to do,” added Singiser of Aholoka’s big rushing night.
Owen rushed for 110 yards on nine carries for La Canada while Kyle Herron added 78 yards on the ground.
Arroyo improved to 4-1 on the year while La Canada dropped to 1-4.
A 7 9 7 0 23
LC 8 13 0 0 21
LC 11:54 Aholoka tackled in end zone – Safety
LC 8:16 Owen 12 yd run (Kick Failed)
A 6:26 Duran 20 yd pass from Rivera (Barva Kick)
LC 9:40 Painter 13 yd run (Kick Failed)
LC 7:04 Owen 64 yd run (Cervenka Kick)
A 4:05 LC Bad Snap Recovered in end zone by LC- Safety
A 3:00 Duran 45 yd pass from Rivera (Barva Kick)
A Rivera 8 yd run (Barva Kick)