By Tim Peterson
(Glendora) – Glendora took a one point lead in the fourth quarter but relinquished it with two minutes left and fell to Palos Verdes 26-21 Friday night in the CIF Division 5 Semi Finals.
The Tartans were down 20-7 at halftime but battled back to take a 21-20 advantage with 7:00 left in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Shane Nutter. That run capped a 63-yard drive that was aided by several penalties on Palos Verdes. But the problem was the Sea Kings still had plenty of time to score.
They marched 64 yards on 10 plays and used a little trickery to score the go ahead touchdown. Quarterback Jake Jellison flipped it to Julian Alessi who in turn threw it back to a wide open Jellison in the endzone for a nine-yard touchdown with 2:04 left on the clock. The play was reminiscent of the “Philly Special” used by the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Tartans still had time and drove down to the Palos Verdes 42 yard line but Luka Kielbasa intercepted Glendora’s Jacob Gonzalez and returned it back to the Tartan 24 to ice it.
Gonzalez put the ball in the air 41 times and had 24 completions for 236 yards and two touchdowns but was hurt by two picks.
Palos Verdes scored first on a 50-yard run by Ryan Wilson late in the first quarter. However after a penalty the Sea Kings went for two and a Wilson run failed. Glendora took the lead in the second quarter when Dylan Hill caught a five-yard TD pass from Gonzalez to finish an 80-yard drive.
Palos Verdes responded a minute later when Wilson scored his second of the night on a six-yard jaunt to go up 13-7. Alessi made a circus catch at the six -yard line on a 40-yard pass from Jellison to set up the score.
The Sea Kings made it a 20-7 with a minute left in the half on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jellison to Alessi.
The third quarter was marred by penalties on both sides. Glendora cut the lead to 20-14 with 7:26 left in the third on a three-yard strike from Gonzalez to Hill.
The Tartans pieced together the drive in the fourth quarter to grab the lead but they were unable to hold on.
For Palos Verdes Alessi had seven catches for 135 yards to go along with his touchdown pass. Jellison threw for 144 yards and ran for 50. Wilson was the workhorse with 177 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.
Cade Marshman caught 13 passes for 133 yards for Glendora while Hill had the two scores and six receptions for 43 yards.
Glendora finished the season 11-2 overall and has a Palomares League title to boast about going 5-0 in league. Palos Verdes moves on to play Lawndale in the Division 5 Finals.