By Tim Peterson
(Culver City) – Ailaoa Tauvao ran in the two point conversion in overtime to give Covina a 57-56 win over Culver City Friday night and launch the Colts into the CIF Division 11 Finals.
The touchdown culminated a wild second half in which there were 71 points scored combined including 42 by Culver City which erased a two touchdown deficit. After Kevin McGuire scored on a 25-yard run on Culver City’s first play in overtime, Erik Cuellar tied it on a one-yard run to set up Tauvao’s game winner.
Cuellar was the bulk of the Colts ground attack rushing for 294 yards and five touchdowns. He gashed the Centaurs all night including touchdown runs of 49 yards in the first quarter and 27 in the fourth.
Covina led 28-14 at the half as Nin Burns II hit Danny Urrea on touchdown passes on 25 and 28 yards and a pair of touchdown runs by Cuellar. Culver City countered with 68-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Martin to Alexander Smith and a 14-yard strike from Martin to Charles Ross.
The Colt lead evaporated in less than five minutes in the third quarter as Culver City jumped on Covina for three quick scores to take a 35-28 lead.
Two three and outs and a Burns interception led to the Centaur rally. A Martin 32-yard TD run and a 37-yard touchdown pass from Martin to Jamaal Glaspie after Robert Simon picked off Burns tied it at 28.
McGuire punched it over from seven yards out running out of the Wildcat to put Culver City up by seven.
Covina responded at the end of the third quarter on a 25-yard run by Tauvao to even things up at 35 heading into the fourth quarter.
The teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Cuellar was the man for Covina scoring on runs of nine and 27 yards. Ross hauled in a 16-yard pass from Martin with 1:40 left in regulation to tie it at 49 for Culver City and set the stage for overtime.
Burns threw for 253 yards and two scores for the Colts and also ran for 53 yards. The Colts racked up 431 yards rushing overall.
For Culver City Martin rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 426 yards and five touchdown passes.McGuire was his main target with 10 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown, McGuire also had two rushing touchdowns.
Covina, now 11-2, will face Katella in the Finals next week at Covina District Field. Culver City finished the year at 11-2.