Capistrano Valley's 28-21 victory over Aliso Niguel had plenty of game-breakers, trick plays and a wild finish to keep the fans entertained Friday at Capistrano Valley High.
Capistrano Valley quarterback Jeff Dixon rushed for 139 yards in nine carries, scoring two touchdowns, including one on a 65-yard run. Running back Scott Stephen rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns in 10 carries, scoring on a 45-yard run.
But the Cougar defense also delivered the big plays down the stretch.
The victory wasn't secured until two defensive stands in the final 2 1/2 minutes. The game ended when Aliso Niguel's Devon Sutton was tackled on the Capistrano Valley 11 as time ran out.
Trailing 28-21, Aliso Niguel started its final possession from its 20 with 1 minute 31 seconds to play.
But a 31-yard completion to Jason Moore, who caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, and a halfback pass from Jeff Stanton to quarterback Jared Hill for a 19-yard gain on a fourth-and-four helped move the Wolverines to the Cougar 15 with 18 seconds remaining.
Then Capistrano Valley's Ryan Richards and Garret Prechtl broke up Jared Hill's pass to Stanton in the end zone with 12 seconds remaining, setting up the final play.
Hill, who completed 12 of 27 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown, scrambled from the pocket and found Sutton in the flat, hoping the Wolverines could get one more play. But Sutton turned up field and was tackled before he could get out of bounds.
Sutton scored on a nine-yard touchdown run with 4:08 remaining to pull the Wolverines within 28-21, but they couldn't find enough big plays.
Following Sutton's touchdown, Aliso Niguel's defense held and the Wolverines got the ball back on the Capistrano Valley 48. But Darren White sacked Jared Hill on the second play of the possession and the Cougars recovered the fumble. It was White's second sack.
The Cougars took the lead at halftime, 21-14, after Dixon scored on a two-yard run with 16 seconds remaining in the quarter.