By Tim Peterson
(Whittier) – The Inland Empire jumped out to a 14-0 lead and never relinquished it in a 35-27 win over Los Angeles County Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl All Star game at Whittier College.
The City Section gave the Empire all it wanted tying the game at 14 and again at 21 but was never able to get the lead.
Aubrey Caldwell from Carter High got the first score for the Inland Empire when he caught an 11 yard touchdown pass from Lyle Negron of Murrieta in the opening quarter.
Johnathan Norton from Moreno Valley scored on a four yard run early in the second quarter to give the Empire a 14-0 lead. He scored again from two yards out in the fourth quarter for a 35-21 lead to put the game out of reach.
LA County quarterback Brandon Mims from Palmdale connected on a 24 yard pass to Dayvon Ross of Manual Arts to cut the lead to 35-27 with 8:55 left in the contest but that’s as close as the City would get.
Down 14-0 in the second quarter, LA County got even on a 30 yard touchdown run by lineman Cesar Estrada from Bell Gardens and 10 TD scamper run by Mims. Estrada took a handoff from Mims, after the quarterback faked one way first and then stuck it in the lineman’s gut. The Inland Empire D was caught off guard as Estrada rumbled down the left side untouched to the end zone.
The Inland Empire took a 21-14 lead just before halftime when with no time remaining in the quarter Eisenhower’s Alex Jeffries hauled in a 35 yard pass from Lyle Negron of Murrieta High School.
Cesar Roldan of El Rancho busted off a 29 yard touchdown romp midway through the third quarter to get the County even again. But Negron went in on a two yard keeper with 2:07 left in the third and Norton’s score sealed it early in the fourth.
Former USC Trojan and Detroit Lion Chris Claiborne presented the trophy to the victors following the game.
I 7 14 7 7 35
C 0 14 7 6 27
I 3:01 Aubrey Caldwell 11 yd pass from Negron (Kick good)
I 11:46 Norton 4 yd run (Kick good)
C 10:33 Estrada 30 yd run (Kick good)
C 4:49 Mims 10 yd run (Kick good)
I 00:00 Jeffries 35 yd pass from Negron (Kick good)
C 6:46 Roldan 29 yd run (Kick good)
I 2:07 Negron 2 yd run (Kick good)
I 11:27 Norton 2 yd run (Kick good)
C 8:55 Ross 24 yd pass from Mims (Kick failed)