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Arroyo Grande Prevails

From Times Staff Reports

There was nothing fancy or sophisticated about Arroyo Grande’s strategy in the second half of its Pac-5 League title decider Friday night against San Luis Obispo.

“We decided to do what got us here -- run right at them,” Coach Jon Huss said.

Andrew Hirsch scored touchdowns on runs of three and two yards to help the Eagles rally for a 21-12 victory over previously unbeaten San Luis Obispo.

Arroyo Grande (8-2, 4-0) trailed, 12-7, at halftime before an overflow crowd of more than 4,000 at San Luis Obispo (8-1, 3-1). An interception by Max Stephenson on San Luis Obispo’s opening drive of the second half set the stage for the Eagles’ offensive line to pummel the Tigers.

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Hirsch, who rushed for 125 yards, led a 67-yard drive, plunging into the end zone for a touchdown and a two-point conversion for a 15-12 lead that the Eagles would never relinquished.

Earlier, San Luis Obispo took advantage of a broken play, with quarterback Quinten Cate picking up his fumble and connecting with Cory Roush on a 74-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter. Phil Garza finished with 130 yards rushing in 26 carries for the Tigers.

San Luis Obispo was ranked No. 1 in the Southern Section Division IV coaches’ poll, and its defeat opens the way for Ventura St. Bonaventure to gain the top playoff seeding.

Huss, though, isn’t ready to discount his team. “We’ve come a long way with this club,” he said. “It’s been a long journey, and it’s a very satisfying victory.”

Marcus Sandoval had two sacks for Arroyo Grande, which limited the Tigers to 73 yards in the second half.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Sylmar 57, San Fernando 27 -- C.J. Gable rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns in 17 carries and also had a 75-yard touchdown reception as the visiting Spartans broke open a tight game with a second-quarter scoring surge and clinched a share of the Valley Mission League title.

It is the 16th consecutive title for Sylmar (8-2, 4-1) and the first for Coach London Woodfin, who is in his first year after taking over for retired veteran coach Jeff Engilman. A loss Friday would have ended the streak.

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Sylmar took advantage of three second-quarter turnovers by the Tigers (6-4, 4-1) and also blocked a punt as the Spartans extended their lead from 14-7 with just over seven minutes left in the first half to 36-7 by halftime.

The Sylmar defense also adjusted to San Fernando running back Rafael Reynolds, who had 121 yards in his first six carries but only 19 yards in his next 18 carries. He added an 85-yard scoring run late in the game.

-- Peter Yoon

Canyon Country Canyon 21, Newhall Hart 17 -- The host Cowboys (9-1, 4-1) finished second in the Foothill League with the victory over the Indians, scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes before securing the victory with an interception.

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No. 13 Hart (6-4, 3-2), which had won 65 consecutive league games before losing to No. 5 Valencia two weeks ago, will be on the road to defend its title in the first round of the Division II playoffs next week.


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