San Clemente Survives Irvine Rally by Slimmest of Margins


Irvine scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes against San Clemente Friday, but failed to convert a two-point conversion attempt with no time remaining and the Tritons escaped with a 21-20 nonleague victory.

The Vaqueros (2-3) drove 54 yards in the final 53 seconds and scored on a 16-yard pass from Andrew Howard to Ray Kang as time ran out. Howard connected with Kang again on the two-point attempt, but Kang was stopped inches short of the end zone.

Irvine trailed, 21-7, at the start of the fourth quarter, but cut the lead to, 21-14, on a six-yard pass from Howard to Dan Cartwright with 2 minutes 47 seconds remaining.

Howard completed 24 of 38 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He threw for 163 of those yards in the second half.

But it was his counterpart's rushing that did in the Vaqueros.

San Clemente quarterback Oscar Montecinos rushed 23 times for a career-high 193 yards and three touchdowns.

"I wanted to pass a little more but we have more of a running offense," said Montecinos, who didn't complete a pass in eight attempts. "I saw a lot of gaps tonight."

Montecinos rushed for a one-yard touchdown in the first quarter, then added scoring runs of 31 and 35 yards in the third quarter for the Tritons (4-1). San Clemente's James Allen rushed for 80 yards in 12 carries and Norman Pridgen rushed six times for 49 yards.

Irvine got its only first-half touchdown on a 28-yard pass from Howard to Kang. Kang finished with 11 receptions for 117 yards.

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