Julian Melucci’s 42-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining in the game lifted Eastlake past Americas, 24-22, on Thursday night at the SISD Student Activities Complex.
The Falcons got the ball at their own 22 with 2:58 remaining in the game and drove to the Americas 25 to set up the game-winning score. The big play was a 43-yard pass from quarterback Luke Lomeli to wide receiver Isai Perea.
The two teams traded leads in the second half. Americas led 15-14 after a botched punt led to a safety, Eastlake led 21-15 after a Julius Acosta short touchdown run that was set up by a 67-yard catch by Perea. Americas took a 22-21 lead on a Mark Moore touchdown run that capped a 75-yard scoring drive.
Eastlake has won three straight and is 4-1 overall and 3-0 in District 1-6A. Americas is 1-4 overall and 1-2 in District 1-6A.
Tight first half
Eastlake and Americas played a close, hard-fought first half with the Falcons taking a 14-13 Halftime lead. Eastlake scored its touchdowns on a 17-yard pass from Lomeli to Perea and a Lomeli 2-yard touchdown run that was set up by a 42-yard pass to Perea.
America countered with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Moore to Anthony Miranda and a Moore 7-yard touchdown run. On the first scoring drive, Miranda helped set up his own score with a 33-yard catch and on the second scoring drive, he had 28 yards receiving on two catches.
The Trailblazers had another scoring drive deep into Falcons territory, but a fumble inside the 15 ended the drive.
What the winning coach said
“Our kids are resilient,” Eastlake Coach Ruben Rodriguez said. “Julian made a great kick at the end, our defense made a key stop when it had to and Luke grew up tonight at quarterback. He made some key throws and Isai was great at wide receiver.”
What the winning players said
“On that final kick Javier Ortega did a great job on the hold, the snap from Jacob Negron was perfect and the line did a great job of blocking,” Melucci said. “It was a great win for our team and a total team effort.”
Added Perea: “We all made big plays in this one. Everyone helped out and it feels great to be undefeated in district. We knew coming in we had to stay focused and stay tough and we did. We made some big plays in the passing game and that was fun. Luke did a great job at quarterback.”
Eastlake takes on Socorro and Americas faces Pebble Hills.
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