Jason Garcia happened to be in the right place at the right time, catching a 15-yard touchdown pass in the end zone with 4 minutes 24 seconds left in the game to give Rowland a 16-14 victory over Sunny Hills in the season opener for both teams Friday night in front of about 2,000 at Buena Park High School.
Randy Brenner, the intended receiver, tried to catch the ball, which was deflected by three Sunny Hills defenders near the goal line. Garcia was standing two yards into end zone and grabbed the ball after it was deflected.
Sunny Hills took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter on a three-yard scoring run by Marlon Womack and a 34-yard touchdown pass from Steve Mallano to Steve Ashton. The pass came with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Rowland got on the scoreboard with 3:51 left in the first half on a 29-yard field goal by Paul Coppes.
Rowland scored again with 5:32 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 14-10. Running back Jim Eaton scored on a nine-yard touchdown run. Eaton led all rushers with 95 yards in 14 carries.
Rowland started the winning drive on the Sunny Hills 28-yard line after a 15-yard punt return by Robert Sena.