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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL / PREP EXTRA : Troy Fakes Its Way Into the Postseason Picture

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Don’t look now, but the tame, calm Freeway League just got wacky.

The only sure thing is Fullerton has clinched the league championship.

Otherwise Troy, left for dead after the injury to running back Larry Montgomery, sent the rest of the league into a mad scramble for the remaining playoff slots by beating Sonora, 21-7, Friday at La Habra High.

The victory moves Troy into a third-place tie with Sonora and gives the Warriors the advantage if the teams are tied at the end of the season. A rugged rushing attack that collected 263 team yards and some second-half chicanery by Troy--a fake punt good for a score and a touchdown lead--gave the Warriors (5-4, 2-2) their biggest victory this season, and the Raiders (5-4, 2-2) their most bitter defeat.

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“This was so huge,” said Troy Coach John Turek. “It’s turned the season upside down for us. Tonight was a real thrill for those kids.”

And a real back-breaker for Sonora, whose players stayed on the field dejectedly several minutes after the game as if they could not believe what transpired.

“We’ll just have to regroup,” Sonora Coach Mark Takkinen. “We’ll have to try and get after Fullerton. We can still make the playoffs.”

Troy running backs Adrian Vargas (125 yards) and Kvion Graves (102 yards, one touchdown), did the most damage.

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But there were two plays that truly determined the outcome.

In the third quarter, Troy recovered a Sonora fumble at the Raiders 16, but appeared to waste the opportunity when Muther was sacked for a 13-yard loss by Matt Robinson.

Troy appeared set to attempt a field goal, but called time out, and returned in punt formation.

But when the ball was snapped to Chris Butters, he scooted around the right side and went 27 yards into the end zone untouched to put Troy ahead, 14-0.

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“We were in our regular defense and hollered ‘fake’ from the sidelines,” Takkinen said. “And they still executed it.”

Sonora responded with its only touchdown drive--Uri Leyva scoring from a yard away--and was still trailing, 14-7, when the Raiders went for a fourth down and four from their 21 with 3:36 to play. But quarterback Kevin Rodriguez’s pass was knocked away.

Graves scored the Warriors final touchdown on a one-yard run seven plays later.

“I felt I had no choice but to go for it,” Takkinen said. “They were controlling the ball, and if we punt I was afraid we wouldn’t get the ball back.”

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