Capistrano Valley's football team lost its quarterback to injury. The Cougars' record-holding running back was held in check most of the night. And still they won.
Capistrano Valley's 12-10 nonleague victory over Tustin Friday night at Capistrano Valley lacked the sterling performances of last week's rout of Edison, but it was probably good enough for Coach Eric Patton.
This figured to be something of a rebuilding season for Capistrano Valley, but after three games the Cougars are 2-1.
Tustin, on the other hand, continues to waste opportunity after opportunity for Coach Marijon Ancich. Tustin, the Southern Section Division VI runner-up last season, fell to 1-2 after its second consecutive loss.
And when was the last time that happened?
Try the 1989 season, when the Tillers were 6-4 and barely a nuisance in the Sea View League.
Tustin had its chances against Capistrano Valley, but too many turnovers and too many penalties spelled a loss for the Tillers.
Capistrano Valley got all the points it would need on a 30-yard scoring pass play from quarterback Sam Gaines to Gabe Payne in the first quarter and a four-yard touchdown run by Dan Geiss in the second.
Geiss, who ran for a school-record 287 yards in last week's victory over Edison, was held to 56 yards in 23 carries.
Tustin scored on a 10-yard pass play from quarterback Jason Reynolds to running back Lamar Barrett and a 27-yard field goal by Zach Matthews.
About the only bad news for Capistrano Valley was that Gaines had to leave the game after suffering a concussion. Gaines, a senior, was hit hard after his 12-yard gain gave the Cougars a first-and-goal at the Tustin seven-yard line with 5 minutes 59 seconds left in the half.
After lying motionless on the field for several moments, Gaines left the field under his own power, but he appeared slightly disoriented.
He was taken to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition, according to a hospital spokesperson.
Despite 126 yards rushing, Tustin was held scoreless in the first half, and the game seemed to be following a familiar, and frustrating, course.
In last week's 24-7 loss to San Clemente, Tustin's offense was similarly ineffective. The Tillers had four turnovers and were never really in contention in that one.
Friday, they had one promising drive end with an interception deep in Capistrano Valley territory and another stopped by a fumble at the Cougar 48.
Tustin's best scoring chance failed to yield results when Matthews' 45-yard field goal try fell short.
Capistrano Valley could have put the game away by halftime, but a 23-yard scoring pass play from Matt Coon to Gabe Payne was nullified by a holding penalty. A 30-yard field goal by Jeff Cellini was later wiped out when Capistrano Valley had 12 players on the field. Cellini's try from 35 yards away was short.