When his wife, Desiree, went into labor at 11 a.m. Friday, Garden Grove Pacifica coach Vinnie Lopez was somewhat confident he’d be able to make his team’s football game against Tustin on Friday night.
“I knew she was going to time it just right,” Lopez said of the baby.
Mother Nature, however, didn’t cooperate. His wife delivered the couple’s fourth child, Leanna, at 7:46 p.m. Kickoff was at 7, so Lopez called an audible. Defensive coordinator Adrian Corona took over and guided the team to a 21-14 win over Tustin.
It was a win-win night for the Lopez family.
“I’m proud of the boys,” Lopez said.
Parents and coaches were texting Lopez at the hospital with information on the game. Rai Sagastume scored the winning touchdown on a 16-yard run in the final minute. Pacifica improved to 8-1.
Pacifica linebacker Isaak Togia sent a text message to his coach: “Hey coach, don’t worry about the game. Take care of your family. We are family. We’ll bring home the W.”
Lopez said he got home around midnight. Mother and daughter are doing well.
Big second half: Corona Centennial and Norco were tied 28-28 at halftime. Then the Huskies (8-1, 4-0) let loose an offensive and defensive onslaught to defeat Norco 63-28 and increase their Big VIII League winning streak to 44 consecutive games.
Quarterback Tanner McKee completed 14 of 18 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Venable caught two touchdown passes and had an interception and fumble recovery.
Bus invasion: Santa Margarita is just 12 miles from JSerra, yet the school hired nine buses to take students to Friday's rivalry game against the Lions. The students went home happy. Santa Margarita pulled out a 36-35 victory.
City Section Open Division: The City Section will be having its first Open Division playoffs. The top eight teams ranked by the CalPreps.com computer formula will make up the division.
With one week left in the regular season, these are the rankings: 1. Narbonne, 2. Crenshaw, 3. Carson, 4. Banning, 5. Fairfax, No. 6 Venice, 7. San Pedro, 8. Birmingham. South Gate is No. 9 and would stay in the Division 1 playoffs.
Jefferson wins title: Jefferson (7-3, 6-0) won the Exposition League title with a 46-32 win over previously unbeaten Santee. Romeo Doubs, a Nevada commit, scored five rushing touchdowns.
Running team: Northridge Heritage Christian is 8-0 with a rushing attack that has rolled up 3,414 yards. Junior Nasir Marshall leads the team with 1,214 yards rushing, including 195 yards in a 53-32 win over Pasadena.