Two schools in Escondido suited up in football gear and had a tennis match Friday night.
Or so it seemed, anyway, as both the Orange Glen and San Pasqual High School offenses traded scores and leads throughout the second half.
But the Orange Glen defense finally broke service to lead the Patriots to a 30-29 nonleague win over San Pasqual at Orange Glen.
The see-saw offensive battle could best be described as the prep version of a San Diego Charger game. Orange Glen finally went on top to stay on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Brett Salisbury to Matt Fiorello across the middle with 4:56 to play.
The Orange Glen defense then forced San Pasqual to punt from the Orange Glen 48-yard line with 3:05 to play. It was the first such defensive stand of the second half.
Salisbury, who brought the Patriots from behind three times in the second half, completed 19 of 27 passes for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was 8 of 11 in the second half.
“San Pasqual said they were supposed to be a second-half ballclub,” Salisbury said. “But we’re a second-half ballclub. We came out and held the ball the last three minutes. If they would’ve had the ball the last three minutes, maybe they would’ve won.”
The win gives Orange Glen (3-0) the bragging rights in the City of Escondido. San Pasqual (2-1) is located just four miles away.
“This was the city championship game,” Salisbury said. “There’s a lot of pride on the field tonight. No matter what happens, we can walk away saying we’re city champions.”
Orange Glen took a 3-0 lead on a 41-yard field goal by Kelly Brown at 8:07 of the first quarter. Brown’s kick capped a seven-play, 59-yard drive that started at the Orange Glen 20. Running back Rick Espinosa had two carries for 29 yards.
Both offenses struggled for the remainder of the first quarter. San Pasqual handed the Patriots their next scoring opportunity when San Pasqual quarterback Greg Bratten fumbled at his 15-yard line. The Patriots recovered as time ran out in the quarter. Salisbury wasted little time opening the second quarter, completing a first-down pass to Ricky Martinez to the 9-yard line. Espinosa then carried seven yards to the 2 and then scored on a one-yard run with 10:30 left in the half. That gave Orange Glen a 10-0 lead.
Things appeared to be caving in on San Pasqual on the ensuing kickoff. Bob Penalosa and Dave Emerson took turns fumbling the kickoff, which was recovered by Orange Glen’s Tony Ybarra at the San Pasqual 21.
Two ineligible receiver penalties against Orange Glen negated any hopes for a touchdown drive, and the Patriots had to settle for a 38-yard field goal from Brown that gave them a 13-0 lead with 8:55 left in the half.
Starting at its 32, San Pasqual put together the best offensive drive of the half, keeping the ball almost exclusively on the ground. San Pasqual drove 69 yards in 13 plays to pull within six points at 13-7 with 3:41 left. Running back Ron Woerner capped the drive on a one-yard run on a fourth-and-one situation.
A Salisbury fumble on a quarterback draw at Orange Glen’s 20-yard line set up San Pasqual’s go-ahead score. Bratten hit Damien Macaluso with a 10-yard pass across the middle to the 10. Two plays later, Bratten completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Kelly Simpson with 19 seconds left in the half, and San Pasqual had a 14-13 lead.