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Saddleback Can’t Hold Lead, Loses

Saddleback High School football Coach Jerry Witte says he never knows what to expect from a season opener.

On Saturday night, Witte saw Carlsbad quarterback Thaddeus MacNeal throw three second-half touchdown passes to rally his team to an 18-14 victory over Saddleback in front of 750 at Santa Ana Stadium.

“MacNeal did a great job tonight,” Witte said. “He threw some key passes in the second half and that really hurt us.”

Carlsbad, trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, converted on two Saddleback turnovers to cut the lead to 14-12. MacNeal threw a touchdown pass of 26 yards to Ron Williams with 6:11 remaining in the quarter. Then, with 4:34 left in the quarter, MacNeal threw to Miguel Perez for a 14-yard touchdown.

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Carlsbad missed on both extra point attempts.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, MacNeal connected on a 85-yard sideline scoring pass to Frank Brock to give Carlsbad the lead and the game.

MacNeal finished the night 8 of 16 for 189 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Saddleback, which tied for second place last year in the Sea View League, scored on its second possession of the game.

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Kelvin Pickering capped a 9-play, 58-yard drive with a 4-yard scoring run. Beto Zavala kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Defensive back Chuck Mosley scored the other Roadrunner touchdown when he picked off a MacNeal pass to open the third quarter and raced 30 yards for the score. Zavala kicked the extra point for a 14-0 advantage.

Saddleback quarterback Jeff Blanco was 10 of 16 for 125 yards with 1 interception. Pickering led the Roadrunners’ ground game with 69 yards in 16 carries.

Carlsbad outgained Saddleback in total offense, 277-175.

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