By Tim Peterson
(Whittier) – At Exactly 10:00 p.m., with 4:57 left in the fourth quarter, the lights went out on the 605 game Friday night. 15 minutes later, they came back on and the East maintained its lead and went on to a 31-26 win over the West at Pioneer High School.
The blackout just added to an entertaining contest. The East led 17-6 at the half and still led 31-20 late in the fourth quarter when Hinkley Lopati of Downey hauled in a touchdown pass for the West to cut the lead to five with 5:10 remaining.
Anthony Garcia of La Serna put the East up 7-0 when he returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown. After the West responded with a 55-yard touchdown pass reception, the East went up 14-6 on a touchdown pass from Isaiah Jackson (Mayfair) to Jake Ruiz (Villa Park).
Late in the second quarter La Serna’s Jonathan Ceballos hit Ricky Rodriguez of Cal on a deep pass to set up a 25-yard field goal by the Lancers’ Alexander Vasquez for the 11 point halftime lead.
The West cut the lead to 17-12 in the third quarter when Long Beach Wilson’s Josh Wise broke off a 75-yard TD romp. Montebello’s Ryan Rivera then hit Warren’s Darney Harris to put the West up 20-17.
The East regained the lead when A.J. Rivas of La Mirada caught a short TD strike to make it 24-20. The East then went up 31-20 but the West had one more score left on Lopati’s TD reception.
The West had one last shot after the lights came back but failed to score and the East prevailed.
Garcia was named MVP.