Hillcrest rallies to defeat Norte Vista, win share of River Valley crown
By Dennis Pope
RIVERSIDE — Elijah Domiguez doesn’t know how it happened. He’s just glad it did.
Dominguez caught the winning touchdown pass with less than 2 minutes to play as Hillcrest rallied to defea Norte Vista 49-41 Friday night to claim a share of the River Valley League title.
“I was just running and I saw them closing in,” said Dominguez, who split two defenders and sprinted 72 yards to the end zone. “I don’t know. I just did it.”
Dominguez caught three touchdown passes in the second half as Hillcrest (7-3, 2-5) forced a five-way tie in the RVL with the victory. The Trojans also won the coin toss and will go into the CIF-Southern Section playoffs as the league’s top seed.
“Coming into the season we wanted to win league and whether we share it or not we still have a league title,” Hillcrest coach John Brandom said. “Call it whatever you want but we’ve overcome so much adversity and that’s what makes this special, and to win the coin toss is just icing on the cake.”
Jalen Jefferson completed 28 of 40 passes for 475 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for two scores as Hillcrest rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit.
“We needed to prove to everybody that we have a soul,” Brandom said. “I think that that’s something in the second half that we went out and did.”
After only seven first downs and a touchdown in the first half, Hillcrest outscored Norte Vista 39-14 after the break.
Chris Melesio rushed for 297 yards and three touchdowns for Norte Vista (3-7, 3-2), which lost to Ramona in Week 9 to set up a do-or-die situation in Week 10.
“If we play this well against Ramona then we’ve wrapped up the league title and we’re not here right now,” Norte Vista coach Ken Batdorf said. “And […]