By Big Tony Solorzano
(Whittier) – A 30-yard touchdown pass from Adam Contreras to Terris Jones in the final minute of the game propelled California High into the semi-finals of the 2009 CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs with a 24-21 victory over Burbank Friday night at Whittier District Field.
The Condors (9-2-1) were down 21-17 with just under 40 seconds left in the game after failing to score from the 5-yard line of the Bulldogs (9-3). on their previous possession. However, junior quarterback found Jones on two consecutive passes to set up and win the game.
The game was a see-saw fight all night with both teams trading the lead all night. Bryan Barragan got the Condors on the board first on the opening kickoff as he took the kick from Anthony Cervantes 76 yards for the touchdown. The Bulldogs answered back on their first possession as quarterback Adam Colman engineered a 14-play drive that was capped by Ulises Ochoa’s 8-yard run, tying the game 7-7.
In the second quarter, the Condors regained the lead thanks to Tyler Hadden’s 50-yard field goal early in the quarter, but the Bulldogs took the lead back with just over two minutes left in the half as Colman tossed a short screen pass to Jackson Diamond for a 70-yard score, giving Burbank a 14-10 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Cal coach Jim Arnold decided to switch up his offense after junior quarterback Contreras was intercepted on their first drive of the quarter and put Jones in to run a wildcat offense. The move paid off as Jones engineered a seven-play, 87-yard drive that culminated in a 39 yard run by Kevin Attanasio to regain the lead, 17-14. However, Burbank responded on the ensuing drive, going 80 yards on 2 plays, including a 77-yard touchdown run by Ochoa to take back the lead less than a minute later.
The final quarter saw both teams stop major drives deep in their respective red zones. Burbank drove to the Cal 14-yard line before Sam Bethany was stopped on a fourth-and-two rush. Cal then drove the ball back to Burbank’s 5-yard line, where Contreras’ pass attempt on fourth down fell incomplete with 2:30 left in the game, and Burbank took over with all three of their time outs left. However, The Condors kept the Bulldogs pinned behind their own 10-yard line and forced them to punt with 39.8 seconds left, setting up the winning drive.
For the Condors, Jones ended the night with 160 yards on 24 carries, and led the receivers with his two catches at the end of the game for 44 yards. Contreras threw five completions out of nine attempts, was intercepted once and threw the game winning touchdown for a total of 102 yards. For the Bullogs, Ochoa led all rushers going 204 yards on 17 carries and scoring twice. Colman went six for 16 for 91 yards and one touchdown, while Diamond, on the strength of the 70-yard score, led the receiving corps with 74 yards.
The Condors will travel to Charter Oak on Saturday to take on the top-seeded Chargers to decide who will face the winner of the South Hills-Diamond Ranch game for the Southeast crown. Game time is approximately 7 P.M. at Charter Oak High School.