Marco Perez

Marco Perez (6), seen here in a victory against Arrowhead Christian Academy, is a standout on offense and defense for Aquinas.

The Aquinas High football team defeated host Leuzinger of Lawndale 35-34 on Friday, Nov. 12, to advance in the section playoffs.

Leuzinger scored with 50 seconds left to draw within one point, but missed the extra point, giving the Falcons the victory.

Another special-teams play also aided Aquinas. The Falcons attempted a field goal that was blocked by Leuzinger but Aquinas scooped up the ball and ran it for a touchdown and a 35-28 lead.

After conferring, the officials ruled the ball passed the line of scrimmage and could be returned by the defensive team.

The Falcons dominated early, scoring on a 3-yard run by freshman running back JoJo Solis with 10:48 left in the first quarter.

Aquinas increased its lead to 14-0 with 5:29 left in the half on a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dre Robles to tight end Zach Mendieta. Mendieta is a transfer from Redlands East Valley High.

Following a Leuzinger score with four minutes left in the first half, Aquinas increased its lead to 21-7 with a 15-yard run by Robles a minute before the break.

However, Leuzinger struck right back to score with less than a minute left on a touchdown pass from Ashley Tucker Jr. to Keyshawn Abreu.

Aquinas seemed to pull away with nine minutes left in the third quarter on Robles’ 66-yard TD pass to Cesar Fernandez. But Leuzinger came charging back on a 9-yard Tucker Jr. TD run with eight minutes left in the third quarter and a 6-yard TD run by Tyhari Boykin with two minutes left in the third.

Aquinas now hosts Pasadena on Friday, Nov. 19, in the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 semifinals. Pasadena is led by senior quarterback Kaden Taylor who has passed for 1,990 yards and 31 touchdowns with five interceptions.

Pasadena has outscored two playoff opponents by a combined 91-44. Besides Taylor, it has three backs who have rushed for about 500 yards apiece.

The section title game is set for Friday, Nov. 26.

Indian Springs defeats Hawthorne

Indians Springs High downed Hawthorne 22-15 in a CIF-SS D14 quarterfinal game. The Coyotes are coached by Highland’s Chris Chaddick.

The Coyotes now travel to Rialto for a semifinal game on Friday, Nov. 19.

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