By Alex Gonzalez
(Covina) — With 6:11 left in regulation, South Hills’ running back Juaquin “Wild Horse” Elliot scored the go-ahead touchdown from 18 yards out, pushing the score to 20-13 over Pacifica Friday night at Covina District Field propelling the Huskies to the CIF Division 6 Final .
Tied at 13 in the fourth, South Hills started its possession on the Tritons’ side of the field. After two runs that totaled six yards and an incomplete pass it was fourth and four.
Quarterback Khalil Ali hooked up with Thonye Charles on the slant who picked up 14 yards after the catch, giving South Hills life. Four plays later, Elliot took the handoff juked right, bounced off defenders and bolted to the end zone for the score.
“I told him [Elliot] throughout the game that it’s going to pop open. You just have to wait and be patient,” said Ali about Elliot after the game. “He saw a hole, made a cut and the rest was history.”
It was then Pacifica’s turn to swing back following the score. However, the Tritons couldn’t gain any moment and were forced to punt after Jorge Salinas sacked Rj Maria.
They had another shot to tie the ball game with less than a minute to play, but the Hail Mary throw with two seconds was picked off by Justin Armendariz, sealing the win for South Hills.
“It’s our first time in a long time, since 2005. We worked out butts off and I couldn’t be more proud of the team,” said South Hills HC Matt Bechtel. “Obviously we want to keep advancing and win one more.”
At the start of the ball game, it was the Tritons who connected on their first punch. On the opening drive, the offense, led by Malik Sherrod, marched down the field and scored the game’s first points when Scooter Carranza booted a 32-yard field goal midway through the opening frame.
It wasn’t until 5:45 in the second quarter when the Huskies answered back with a touchdown when Ali connected with Jordan Sanchez on a 59-yard bomb giving his team a 6-3 lead after the missed point after attempt.
Following the intermission, the Huskies extended their lead with the Ali-Sanchez combination. This time Ali found Sanchez in the corner of the end zone giving South Hills a 13-3 advantage.
Pacifica wasted no time responding on their next possession. Following a big return by the Triton’s receiving team, Sherrod bullied his way down the field only to have Brad Bichard cap the drive with his quarterback sneak.
The Tritons’ defense then came through and forced the Huskies to punt on their next possession. Malik and the offense drove down the field only to have the march stall and only get three points out of the drive tying the ball game at 13.
With the win, South Hills will play Oxnard next Saturday at Covina District Field in the Division 6 Final.