(Alhambra) – Sebastian Espinoza returned a blocked field goal attempt 65 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and the Alhambra defense did the rest as the Moors beat Schurr 18-8 Thursday night in an Almont League contest.
Espinoza’s return was a turning point for the Moors even though it came with 9:45 still left in the first quarter.
Josh Mendoza’s pass was intercepted on Alhambra’s first play from scrimmage by Aaron Handy setting up Schurr at the Moor 13. But after a sack and a penalty, Schurr lined up for a 40 yard field goal. The kick was blocked and Espinoza scooped it up and raced 65 yards the other way. Instead of possibly 3-0 Schurr, it was 7-0 Alhambra.
It was a defensive struggle the rest of the way. Both offenses had trouble moving the ball in the first half. After the blocked field goal, the Spartans went punt, fumble, punt, punt, punt in their next five possessions. The Moors also punted twice and turned the ball over in the first half. They did have an opportunity at the end of the half but Jonathon Bird’s 41 yard field goal attempt hit the upright and fell short.
“We knew it was going to be a defensive struggle,” said Alhambra Coach Lou Torres. “Our Defensive Coordinator Jacob Ochoa did a great job.”
In the second half, Ezra Broadus intercepted Rudy Madrid to give Alhambra the ball at its own 49. Broadus then got loose for a 28 yard run and six plays later Mendoza went in on a sneak from the one for a score. Luis Herrera hit Essien Frank in the end zone for a two point conversion for a 15-0 lead.
The Moors took advantage of another Schurr turnover later in the third. A Spartan fumble in Alhambra territory led to a 36 yard Bird field goal to make it 18-0.
Both teams turned the ball over in the fourth quarter. Schurr finally turned one of them into a touchdown. Madrid connected with Ricky Fonseca for a 43 yard pass play down to the two yard line. From there Bradley Powell went in untouched to avoid the shutout with 3:58 left in the game. Abel Troncoza caught a pass from Madrid for a two point conversion. But time eventually ran out on the Spartans.
Schurr’s offense was held to less than 80 total yards.
“It’s a huge win for us. It puts us in the mix for a league title,” said Ochoa. “It’s been a long time since we won up on the hill. I would have loved a shutout though.”
Broadus had 7 carries for 57 yards and also caught three passes for 19 yards.
Alhambra improved to 6-1 and 2-0 in league while Schurr dropped to 1-6 and 1-1 in the Almont.
A 7 0 11 0 18
S 0 0 0 8 8
A 9:45 Espinoza 65 yd Ret of blocked FG attempt (Bird Kick)
A 6:50 Mendoza 1 yd run (Frank pass from Luis Herrera- 2 pt)
A :02 Bird 36 yd FG
Powell 2 yd run (Troncoza pass from Madrid- 2 p