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PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE : Trabuco Hills Shuts Down Century

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Trabuco Hills and Century had been there before, under nearly identical circumstances.

A year ago, Century was coming off a disastrous first six games of the season and Trabuco Hills had just scored a convincing victory against an archrival.

Century was the underdog then, as it was Thursday. And the Centurions again were being shut out at halftime.

But this time, there was no second-half comeback. And if the Centurions are to repeat their season in which they shared the Pacific Coast League title last year with Trabuco Hills, they will not be able to control their destiny. Not after the Mustangs scored a dominating 24-0 victory against them.

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It is Trabuco Hills (5-2, 2-0) in the driver’s seat. The Centurions can only hope someone else can do their dirty work.

Trabuco Hills’ defense did the dirty work Thursday night, surrendering only 79 yards of offense to Century (2-4-1, 1-1).

The defense forced two turnovers that led to touchdowns, and the special teams set up another. And, on the first possession of the game, the Trabuco Hills offense did the work itself, going 70 yards and scoring on a nine-yard pass from J.C. Pintsak to Derrek Uhl.

Gerry Beckham’s 38-yard field goal with 1 minute 46 seconds left in the first half came after Jake Anderson’s 26-yard punt return. The Mustangs led 10-0 at the break. A year ago, in a 21-20 loss, they had held a 14-0 lead only to be disappointed.

“Last year, we were undefeated, and when we lost to Century, our momentum changed,” said Jake Galasso, who completed two of four passes for 53 yards and rushed 11 times for a team-high 49 yards. “We weren’t going to let that happen this year.”

So in the locker room at halftime, there was a lot of “Don’t let up” talk going around. And the Mustangs didn’t let up.

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In its first four possessions of the second half--after gaining 46 in the first--Century gained seven yards. The Centurions fumbled once, leading to Bobby Johnson’s two-yard scoring run, and there were two interceptions by Geoff Beckham. The second interception--his county-high eighth of the year--at the Century 24 set up Galasso’s 18-yard scoring pass to Devin Martin. Gerry Beckham’s third extra-point made it 24-0.

Century had rallied several times this season. The Centurions came back from a 19-0 deficit to beat Playa del Rey St. Bernard, and trailed Troy, 16-0, and tied.

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