Santiago outlasts Roosevelt on Ornelas’ big kick
By Brian Robin
CORONA — There stood Damian Ornelas on the Santiago sideline, the loneliest player in the stadium, with the words from Santiago coach Scott Morrison echoing in his ears like a verse of foreshadowing.
“Coach told me in the last quarter, ‘No matter what. We’re not going to win by a touchdown. We’re going to win with you,’” Ornelas said.
Morrison called his shot and Ornelas delivered his: a 40-yard field goal with two seconds remaining, that gave Santiago a 31-28 victory over Roosevelt in a Big VIII League game Friday night.
“I was pretty sure it was going to come down to someone having to make a field goal and I just hoped it was us,” Morrison said.
Ornelas’ shot across Roosevelt’s bow scrambles a wild league chase for the runner-up mantle in what is one of the most competitive leagues in the Inland Empire. Both Santiago (2-2, 6-3) and Roosevelt (2-2, 6-3) are scrambling for Division 4 playoff spots. And for the Mustangs, arch-rival Norco looms in the regular season finale next week — a factor Roosevelt coach Tommy Leach wasted no time illustrating.
“To be honest with you, this was motivating for us. My teams usually respond to losses really well, so I expect to make a run,” he said. “We deserved to lose and to win that game might have ended our season earlier than we expect.”
All Leach has to do is watch the tape of the last 2:58 for all the motivation he needs.
Santiago took a 28-21 lead on the third of Vinny Pacleb’s three touchdown runs – a 4-yard scamper. Earlier, Pacleb (15 carries, 91 yards) had broken loose on scoring runs of 27 and 39 yards, the latter tying the game at 21 early in the fourth.
But the Sharks left too much time on the clock. Roosevelt quarterback Jeremy […]