Tomek Mikler kicked a 22-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining Saturday night to give Capistrano Valley a 17-15 victory over Paramount in the Southern Section Division II championship game at Santa Ana Stadium.
It was Capistrano Valley’s first championship since 1980, when the Cougars defeated Esperanza for the Central Conference title. The loss ended Paramount’s 21-game winning streak, which had been the longest in the Southern Section. The Pirates also were the two-time defending Division III champions.
Paramount (13-1) appeared as if it would make it three consecutive titles when--with the Pirates leading, 15-14--Leon Neal ran nine yards for an apparent touchdown on fourth down with 2:16 left in the game. But Paramount was called for holding on the play and the Pirates were unable to convert on fourth down.
Capistrano Valley (12-2) took over at its 12-yard line with 2:11 left and drove to the Pirates’ 17. Mikler came in to attempt a 27-yard field goal, but Paramount was called for offsides, giving Mikler a 22-yard attempt. The kick was right down the middle, leaving most of the 10,000 in a frenzy.
“That extra five yards really helped,” said Mikler, a senior. “I thought that this game might come down to me, and I was ready.”
Mikler was put in position for the winning field goal because of some fine passing by senior quarterback Tony Solliday. Solliday, who completed nine of 19 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns, completed three passes in the drive and rushed for seven yards.
“I love being in the position I was put in,” Solliday said. “I’d rather be on the field, able to control my destiny than watching the outcome from the sidelines. This is really a great feeling.”
Capistrano Valley led, 14-3, at halftime after Solliday connected with Jeremy Brion on a 74-yard touchdown pass play in the first quarter and with Dave Poltl on an eight-yard scoring pass with 21 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Paramount came out strong in the second half behind the rushing of Neal, De Mondre White and Rolando Avila. Neal finished with 147 yards, White added 68 and Avila scored on a pair of two-yard touchdown runs to put the Pirates ahead, 15-14, with 9:21 remaining.
Paramount Coach Ken Sutch said he would have gone for the field goal late in the fourth quarter, but kicker Alphonso Bigelow suffered what is believed to be a broken ankle playing tight end late in the fourth quarter.
Paramount controlled the ball for most of the first half, running 34 plays compared to 18 for Capistrano Valley.