Thanks to what Coach Steve Nishimoto called his team’s best defensive effort of the season, Fullerton High School advanced to the Southern Section Division VI football semifinals with a 16-7 victory over Kennedy Friday night at Fullerton.
The Fullerton defense, which forced 4 interceptions by Kennedy quarterback Peter Montana, was led by defensive back Chad Ledbetter, who had 3 interceptions.
All three of Ledbetter’s interceptions came in the fourth quarter and halted Kennedy’s three final comeback attempts.
“Our defense just did a great job. It was our best game of the year,” Nishimoto said. “Kennedy has so many offensive weapons, and our defense was able to shut them out.”
Kennedy’s only touchdown came on a 92-yard kickoff return by James Chun and cut the Indians’ lead to 13-7 with 2:22 left in the third quarter. Fullerton had taken a 13-0 lead only moments earlier on quarterback Brent Bice’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Chris Rubal.
Fullerton added a 24-yard field goal by John Bailey with 5:20 left in the game to extend Fullerton’s lead to 16-7, and Ledbetter ended Kennedy’s final three drives with interceptions.
Running back Steve DePhillips led the Fullerton offense with 186 yards in 31 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give Fullerton a 6-0 halftime lead.