Photo by Mando Medina
In a game full of twists and turns, Eastlake used timely defensive stops, and may have found an offensive rhythm and identity as they upset #2 ranked Pebble Hills 30-28 on a late field goal by Jonathan Rascon with less than 90 seconds left in the game.
Pebble Hills led 21-14 at halftime, but not after a slow start that saw starters and stars Sebastian Ochoa, and Caleb Gerber miss the first two series of the game due to what sources called disciplinary reasons.
Eastlake took advantage and drew first blood with an eight-yard touchdown connection from Daine Kirtley to Matt Jones with 3:40 left in the first quarter. Eastlake first two Pebble Hills three-and-outs to start the game and forced three total turnovers in the contest.
Ochoa and Gerber returned late in the first quarter and both produced during a second quarter surge. Ochoa tied the game with a 15-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Then Gerber turned on the jets during an 85-yard touchdown spring just three minutes later to claim their first lead at 14-7.
Ochoa threw a touchdown pass before the halftime break but ended the night throwing for under 100 yards in a game for the first all season.
Eastlake tied the game at 21-all after Julius Alvarez punched in a one-yard touchdown run right the midway point of the third quarter. Gerber put the Spartans ahead with a one-yard touchdown run of his own with just under nine minutes left in the fourth, then the drama started.
Kirtley would hook up Adrian Talavera with 5:31 left in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 28-27 Spartans, but the ensuing extra point would be botched leaving the Falcons down by one.
The Falcon defense came up with huge plays all night and grabbed the fourth down stop they needed on the ensuing drive which led to the lead changing field goal. Daine Kirtley was poised all night, throwing for over 220 yards and three touchdowns, leading Eastlake’s last scoring drive of the night with just one timeout left.
Pebble Hills has one last drive with no timeouts left after Eastlake took that 30-29 with 1:25 to go.
Ochoa would drive his team to the Eastlake 25-yard line, then with four seconds left a hail Mary attempt was intercepted by Devon Pinero and the Falcons celebrated win number three.
Pebble Hills drops to 3-2 overall and will face Socorro to open district play in two weeks. Eastlake is now 3-2 and will also have a bye before they face Eastwood to open District D1 1-5A play.
Alex Nicolas Reporting