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Blocked PAT pushes Coalinga past McLane

It was supposed to be a bloodbath and early on it looked like it might end up being one. But McLane’s sophomore quarterback Herb Johnson was not about to let his Highlanders’ season go down like that.

But in the end the Horned Toads did just enough to come away with a 28-27 opening round victory on their home field on Friday.

Coalinga took a 14-0 lead and appeared poised to put a drubbing on McLane.

However Johnson threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Ulices Castillo before halftime and the duo connected again in the third quarter for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Suddenly Coalinga found itself in a tied 14-14 game and fighting to keep its season alive.

Coalinga’s workhorse running back Ryan Vasquez gave the Horned Toads a 21-14 lead with his 51-yard touchdown run. But McLane responded by capping off a scoring drive with a one-yard Chris Prince touchdown run and the game was tied again going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, McLane’s defense would make some nice plays to force multiple critical third downs, but the Highlanders just could not stop the Horned Toads to force them to punt.

Coalinga put a long, time-consuming drive together that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by Vasquez, to give the Horned Toads a 28-21 lead with 8:27 remaining in the game.

But it did not take long for McLane to respond.

Johnson recognized a blown coverage assignment and found Shaun Quintana uncovered downfield for a 55-yard touchdown strike with 7:05 left to play.

But on the ensuing PAT kick, Coalinga defensive lineman Carlos Enriquez broke through the kick protection and blocked the kick.

Although McLane still had enough to get the ball back and get another shot at scoring, Coalinga pounded the ball with the run game and kept the clock ticking with some key third down conversions. The Horned Toads eventually took a knee and came away with the win.

“We just told our line to push through with all their strength, go hard and let’s get the win,” Vasquez said.

Vasquez ended the game with 25 carries for 174 yards and three touchdowns. However the beating he took left him noticeably banged up and he confirmed after the game he would go see the doctor that night.

However he said he will not miss next Friday’s quarterfinal matchup against Chowchilla.

“I’ll be ready go,” Vasquez said.

In addition to Vasquez, Coalinga also received key rushing contributions from Damian Ribera, who ended the game with 15 carries for 95 yards.

Horned Toad quarterback Troy Arce went 8-for-11 for 108 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.

For McLane, Johnson went 10-for-22 on the night for 237 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, plus he rushed 14 times for 48 yards.

Prince led the team with six catches for 108 yards to go with his rushing touchdown. Castillo added his two catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Quintana’s 55-yard touchdown reception was his only catch of the night.

“I feel great, we balled out and everything,” Castillo said about his team’s performance. “We just came up a little short.”

Following the game, Ribera acknowledged the Toads’ relatively weak schedule did not prepare them for the playoffs.

“I think playing all these Division V and Division VI schools really took its toll and a solid Division IV team gave us trouble,” Ribera said.

Central Valley Football » Coalinga, High School Football, McLane » Blocked PAT pushes Coalinga past McLane

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