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Solliday Makes Most of Second Chance With Victory

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tony Solliday got a chance to rewrite an ending Saturday night. He got to do it all over again and, this time, Capistrano Valley High School got to victory.

Solliday drove the Cougars to a game-winning field goal and the Southern Section Division II championship at Santa Ana Stadium. He took the Cougars 81 yards in the final two minutes to set up a Tomek Mikler field goal for a 17-15 victory over Paramount.

“This erases everything from last year,” Solliday said. “Everything.”

Solliday has waited that long for another chance.

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Last season, the Cougars faced Paramount in the semifinals of the Division III playoffs and trailed, 28-21, with four minutes left. Solliday drove the Cougars 63 yards for the tying touchdown with 21 seconds left.

But Paramount pulled out a 36-35 victory with a touchdown and two-point conversion in overtime. Solliday could only stand on the sideline and watch as the Cougars’ season ended.

“I hate it when the defense is on the field,” said Solliday who completed nine of 18 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. “Everything is out of my hands. When I’m on the field, I’m in control.”

Solliday took control Saturday with 2:11 left and the Cougars on their 12, 15-14.

On the first play, Solliday threw a four-yard pass to Brian Peterson, who then pitched the ball to Jeremy Brion. The play gained 19 yards.

“I dropped that pass in practice the other day,” Peterson said. “But Tony kept me calm in the huddle. He was a pro on the drive.”

Solliday completed three of five passes for 44 yards on the drive. He also scrambled twice for 11 yards.

On third and six at the Paramount 36, Solliday lofted a deep pass to Scott Patton, who was hit before the ball arrived. The pass interference call gave the Cougars a first down on the 21.

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Said Cougar Coach Eric Patton: “Before the play, Tony came to the sideline and said, ‘I want to throw deep to Scott, and it’s going to work and we’re all going to go home happy.’ ”

Four plays after the penalty, Mikler made a 22-yard field goal.

“I knew I was going to get a chance to win the game,” Solliday said. “I did it against them last year, I knew I could do it again.”

Only this time, it was the right ending.

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