By Eric Terrazas
WHITTIER – El Rancho High School’s offense came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 points en route to a 22-15 Del Rio League victory Oct. 25 at California High.
The Dons, trailing 12-7, grabbed the lead when senior quarterback Ryan Araujo scored on a 1-yard run with 6 minutes, 38 seconds remaining in regulation. Araujo then gave El Rancho a 15-12 advantage when he successfully scampered for a two-point conversion.
After Condors senior kicker Eric Amezquita’s game-tying 31-yard field goal, the Dons responded with the eventual game-winning drive that culminated with Araujo’s 55-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Javier Carillo. Carillo’s touchdown came with 2:22 left.
El Rancho then secured the win by stopping the Condors on a fourth down at California’s 22-yard line.
The Dons (5-3 overall , 3-0 league), with Friday’s triumph, maintain a share of first place in the Del Rio.
El Rancho senior running back Aaron Escareno played a major role, rushing for 121 yards and a score on 22 carries. Escareno’s touchdown came on a 10-yard run that put the Dons on the board after the Condors raced out to a 9-0 lead.
Araujo finished with 124 yards passing while completing 10 of 20 attempts.
Amezquita connected on three field goals (47, 24 and 31 yards) for the Condors (3-5, 1-2), who will look to rebound Thursday, Oct. 31 against Pioneer (3-5, 0-3). Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at California High. The Condors will be the road team.
El Rancho will look to stay undefeated in league play as it hosts Santa Fe (5-3, 2-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1.
Here is a look at other Del Rio League action from last week:
LA SERNA 62, PIONEER 7
The defending league champion Lancers (6-2, 3-0) continued their impressive roll by delivering a dominating perfromance Oct. 24 against the Titans.
The junior running back trio of Kevin Ramos, Ruben Rios and Bryce Oliver accounted for a major part of the La Serna offense. Ramos ran for 71 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Rios and Oliver, who rushed for 59 and 52 yards respectively, also each added a rushing score.
Lancers senior quarterback Frankie Palmer turned in an efficent performance, completing 7 of 9 attempts for 134 yards and one touchdown. Senior wide receiver Matthew Rosales finished with three receptions for 68 yards and a score.
The Lancers will next host Whittier (3-5, 0-3) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 at California High.
SANTA FE 24, WHITTIER 21
Santa Fe remained on the inside track for a CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division postseason berth by besting the Cardinals on Oct. 25.
Senior wide receiver Brandon Takata paced the victorious Chiefs’ offensive attack, hauling in four receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Whittier senior running back Gerry Pantoja scored two touchdowns – one rushing and one receiving. Pantoja, who ran for 31 yards on eight carries, made one reception for 40 yards.
Cardinals junior running back Eddie Orta finished with 83 rushing yards on 18 carries.
CHAMINADE 64, ST. PAUL 13
After recording its first victory of the season last week against Harvard-Westlake, the Swordsmen fell on the short end against a talented Chaminade squad.
The Oct. 25 defeat drops St. Paul (1-7, 1-2) into fourth place in the league standings behind third-place Chaminade (6-2, 2-1). Serra (8-0, 3-0) and St. Francis (8-0, 3-0) are locked in a first-place tie.
St. Paul will host Cathedral (5-3, 0-3) on Friday, Nov. 1. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
WHITTIER CHRISTIAN 41, HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 34
Whittier Christian (5-3, 2-1) extended its winning streak to two games by turning in an impressive offensive performance Oct. 25 at Whittier College.
Sophomore running back Nick Watase led the Heralds offense by rushing for 323 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Ryan Esslinger also played a key role, completing 20 of 30 attempts for 188 yards and three scores.
The Heralds will face a huge test on Friday, Nov. 1 as they travel to Maranatha (6-2, 2-0) for a 7 p.m. kickoff.