El Camino Loses Lead and Game, 37-36

Donnie Bladow caught a two-yard touchdown pass as time ran out to give Rancho Santiago a 37-36 victory over El Camino in a Mission Conference football game Saturday at Santa Ana Stadium.

The game had a appeared to be over the play before when Garcia's fourth-down pass was imcomplete. But El Camino was called for face masking in the end zone, giving the Dons one more chance with four seconds left.

The winning drive was necessary because Rancho Santiago let a 31-13 lead slip away.

El Camino rallied for 23 consecutive points and took the lead, 36-31, when quarterback Steve Sarkisian completed a 14-yard scoring pass to Robert Jenkins with five minutes 28 seconds left.

The drive had been set up when the Dons' quarterback Garcia and running back Ernest Wilson collided on an exchange and El Camino's Marc Afoa recovered at the Rancho Santiago 18.

Rancho Santiago's winning drive started at the Dons' 20. The 80-yard drive took 16 plays.

Bladow rushed for 27 yards in five carries on the winning drive and had a career-high 161 yards rushing in the game.

Wilson carried three times for 24 yards on the final drive and had 143 yards in the game. Rancho Santiago rushed for 337 yards as a team.

Rancho Santiago (1-0-1) took advantage of four first-half turnovers to build a 24-7 lead at the break.

But Bladow fumbled at his own 14 on the first series of the second half to set up an El Camino touchdown.

The Dons opened the lead up to 31-13 when Wilson went 56 yards around right end midway in the third quarter.

But El Camino, which rallied to beat Orange Coast, 28-24, in the final minutes a week ago, didn't quit.

The Warriors started the comeback with a 29-yard field goal by Joe Furlow with about four minutes left in the third quarter.

Sarkisian scored on a five-yard scramble to cut the lead to, 31-22, with 13:08 to play. Six minutes later, Leandrew Childs scored on a reverse from seven yards out and El Camino (1-2) cut the gap to, 31-29, with 6:24 to play.

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