Cajon rallies in second half to beat Rancho Cucamonga – Press-Enterprise

SAN BERNARDINO — Cajon’s offense had been stuffed a couple of times by Rancho Cucamonga’s defense Friday night.

With the game on the line and his team once again on the 1-yard line, Cajon coach Nick Rogers went deep into the playbook.

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Running back Freddy Fletcher flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to defensive lineman Francisco Martinez to level the score with 12.8 seconds remaining on the clock. Aiden Morris then tacked on the extra point as Cajon rallied for a 28-27 nonleague victory Friday.

“We kept getting to the red zone, but we had trouble finishing,” Fletcher said. “But we just stuck together, played as a team. And we found a way to win at the end.”

Rancho Cucamonga (2-3) had a slow start Friday, but the Cougars defense made a goal-line stand at the end of the first half to keep the deficit at 14-7 going into halftime.

Xavier Washington completed four straight passes on the first drive of the first half. Including a 23-yarder to Julian Lundy that helped level the score at 14.

Rancho Cucamonga maintained that momentum for most of the second half. Trent Dailey scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter, and Washington and Lundy connected again for an 18-yard touchdown play that helped the Cougars extend their lead to 27-14 with 8:50 left to play.

Cajon (5-0) cut into that deficit when Martinez Miles Jr. threw an 11-yard touchdown pass with 4:10 remaining. The Cowboys got the ball back near midfield with 2:13 on the clock and no timeouts.

Miles scrambled for a 24-yard gain, but his helmet came off on the next play. Niko Papatsos ran onto the field and completed three straight passes to move the ball down to the 2. Fletcher was stopped a yard short of the line, and Papatsos spiked the ball to stop the clock.

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Cajon lined up in the double wing, and Fletcher caught everyone by surprise when he jumped into the air and threw the ball to Martinez.

“It’s stuff we’ve done in the past, just not with this group,” Rogers said. “I was glad Rancho took a timeout before the play. We were able to go over the play because it’s not something we’ve practiced very much.”

Martinez said there were some nerves as the ball floated his way.

“In a game, the emotions are so different,” Martinez said.

The Cajon defense was the undisputed difference-maker in the opening quarter.

Syrano Ware stepped in front of Washington’s first pass of the game and returned the interception 28 yards for a touchdown that helped the Cowboys take an early 8-0 lead.

Cajon quickly doubled its lead. Miles completed passes to JeyQuan Smith (22 yards) and Rae Ford (28 yards) to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Fletcher.

Rancho Cucamonga finally got on the scoreboard when Washington scrambled and connected with Nehemiah Harrison for a 65-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter.



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