Running back Chato Jackson was crowned homecoming king at halftime Friday, then put away Vista’s 20-7 victory over Fallbrook with an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The Palomar League victory improved top-ranked Vista to 8-0, 5-0. Fallbrook dropped to 5-3, 3-2.
Jackson gained 145 yards on 19 carries. Vista had seven sacks.
The Panthers had a comfortable 14-0 lead at the half, mostly because of Fallbrook mistakes. The second half, however, was a power display for Vista.
The Panthers took a halftime lead on touchdowns from both the defense and offense. Vista scored in the first quarter when Jackson ran around the right end for a 27-yard score.
A backfired fourth-down attempt set up the drive. When Fallbrook faked a punt on fourth and long on their 18, nearly everyone in the stadium thought that Fallbrook Coach Tom Pack had pulled a fast one. But quarterback John Dutton’s long completion was negated by an illegal receiver downfield penalty.
Vista returned the ensuing punt to the Fallbrook 36, where Jackson took over.
Vista took advantage of another Fallbrook mental error, when Joe Perez stripped the ball from Fallbrook’s Craig Person on the Vista five-yard line. Perez sprinted down the sideline for a 95-yard touchdown.
Dutton tried to rally Fallbrook in the third quarter, but Vista’s strong defense held him at bay. With the score 20-0, Dutton marched the Warriors down to Vista’s 30-yard line, but two incomplete passes and a key Vista sack forced the Warriors to punt.
Fallbrook defensive back Eric Busch scored the Warriors’ only points when he returned a fumble 95 yards for a touchdown.