Brad Bautista caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Jason Gondringer as time expired to give La Quinta a 12-9 come-from-behind victory over Westminster at Bolsa Grande High.
The Aztecs (1-0) trailed, 9-6, with 1:52 left when Don Casey recovered a Westminster fumble at the La Quinta 45. Gondringer then drove the Aztecs to the Lions’ two in five plays, aided by three Westminster penalties and a crucial 16-yard scramble.
With 10 seconds left, Gondringer avoided a heavy rush and found Bautista among a crowd of receivers with no time showing.
Gondringer also threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Lane Escovedo earlier in the final quarter to spark La Quinta’s offense, which had been sluggish. He completed 11 of 22 passes for 148 yards.
Westminster (0-1) opened the scoring on Mike Vit’s 12yard run with 2:41 left in the first half. The Lions extended the lead in the third quarter with a 25-yard field goal by David Jarrick. That drive was set up when defensive lineman Leo Gutierrez intercepted an attempted screen pass by Gondringer at midfield.