William Camacho caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jaylen Henderson with 13 seconds remaining to lift West Hills Chaminade to a 46-44 upset over Norco in a CIF Southern Section Division 2 first-round playoff game Friday night at Norco.
Chaminade (6-5) drove 80 yards in seven plays to regain the lead and tackled Norco receiver Phil Espinoza at midfield as the clock ran out to start a wild celebration as Eagles players ran onto the field to congratulate their hero Camacho.
“I can’t tell you the name of the play — that’s classified,” Camacho said after scoring six — yes six — touchdowns.
“I just knew I had to catch it. I always have hope for my team, even if we’re down. I go 100% every play. Anything I can do to help my team win.”
Nothing changes momentum in a football game like turnovers and Chaminade capitalized on four takeaways — three of them early in the second quarter — to build a big lead, but the host Cougars scored three late touchdowns to take the lead back.
Camacho caught six passes for 91 yards and rushed for 79 yards and five touchdowns in 22 carries for the Eagles, scoring on runs of two, one, 13, 39 and two yards — the last on fourth and goal to put Chaminade ahead 40-22 late in the third quarter.
Norco needed 16 seconds to answer, as Shane Illingworth connected with Marquis Ashley on a 75-yard pass to the Chaminade three-yard line and ran for a touchdown on the following play. Grant Gray added the two-point conversion catch to make it a 10-point game.
Norco used a trick play to pull to within three with 5:59 left when Illingworth flipped a sideline pass to backup quarterback Kyle Crum, who threw a pass into the end zone where Espinoza outleaped two defenders for an 18-yard touchdown.
Illingworth, who has committed to Oklahoma State, scampered seven yards to the goal line to put Norco on top, 44-40, with 1:17 left. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns and Fernando Chairez ran for 139 yards in 22 carries for Norco (8-3), ranked No. 20 by The Times.
Espinoza caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to end a nine-play, 76-yard drive to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Illingworth entered the game having completed 65% of his passes for 2,816 yards and 37 touchdowns with only two interceptions.
Henderson threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 81 yards and Ian Duarte had five receptions for 62 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown to give Chaminade its first lead, 12-7, in the second quarter.
The Eagles face the Upland-Oaks Christian winner in the quarterfinals next Friday.