Shad Vickers scored two first-half touchdowns as Irvine High School withstood a late Foothill threat to win, 14-13, Saturday night at Irvine.
The Vaqueros (4-1), who led, 14-7, after three quarters, saw the Knights (2-3) narrow the deficit to a point with 1 minute left in the game on Brian Chodowski’s 1-yard run. But Tom Hawkins’ two-point pass attempt fell incomplete as intended receiver Ward VanPelt was closely guarded.
After the failed two-point try, Foothill tried an onside kick, but Irvine’s Ki Soo Lim recovered the ball at the Vaquero 41 to end the Knights’ hopes.
Vickers, who started at running back because of a broken jaw suffered by Pat White Thursday during practice, gave the Vaqueros a 7-0 lead with 3 minutes left in the first quarter when he broke three tackles en route to a 30-yard touchdown run.
Vickers’ score capped off a 64-yard, 10-play drive which was extended when Foothill was called for clipping on an Irvine punt while the Vaqueros still had possession.
Seven plays after Foothill’s Todd Delnoce returned the ensuing kickoff 25 yards to the Foothill 35, the Knights tied the score on Ed Loonam’s 1-yard dive into the end zone, 3 seconds into the second quarter.
Knight quarterback Tom Hawkins, whose 33-yard completion to Ward VanPelt brought the ball to the Irvine 1 on the play before the touchdown, picked up 19 yards in 3 carries and 10 yards in another pass completion during the drive.
Irvine took a 14-7 lead with 1:30 left in the half when Vickers caught a pass from Dave Lincoln in front of Foothill defender Mike Veje at the Knight 30. He raced past Veje, who was going for the interception, to complete a 71-yard scoring play.
White, Irvine’s leading rusher before Friday’s game with 313 yards in 59 carries, will be out three weeks, co-Coach Rick Curtis said. Irvine’s other starting running back, Mike Belle, failed to gain a yard in his only carry before he left the game midway through the second quarter with a pulled hamstring.