Great performance by Rialto in beating Cajon, 27-25 on a Javone Morgan touchdown pass to Tyler Telphy with 25.7 seconds to play.
So much happened in the game that my complete story isn’t running in the paper. Here is the complete story.
By Pete Marshall Staff Writer
RIALTO — Rialto football teams in recent years would have succumbed to Cajon after an 81-yard touchdown on the second play in the game.
If not then, the Knights likely would have wilted after Cajon took the lead in the second quarter or the third. And if they hadn’t been done in by that point, surely Cajon’s go-ahead touchdown with 5:15 to play would have done in the Knights.
But this is a different Rialto team.
Rialto kept responding and sophomore Javone Morgan lofted a 12-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Telphy on fourth down with 25.7 seconds to play as the Knights stunned Cajon 27-25 in a San Andreas League showdown at Rialto High.
Area fans will have to take notice of the Knights (6-1, 4-0) after pinning the first loss of the season on the Cowboys (6-1, 3-1).
“This is a big win for us,” Rialto coach Gavin Pachot said. “But we’ve still got San Gorgonio and Carter coming up.”
After Cajon took a 25-20 lead on Kendrick Gaines’ 43-yard touchdown pass from Edwin Martinez with 5:15 to play, Morgan directed the game-winning drive.
He also threw to Telphy for the go-ahead score.
“Our quarterback made that play. It was supposed to go to the other side and he brought it back to the other side,” Pachot said. “That’s a sophomore who’s growing up right before us.”
It was the only catch of the game for Telphy, but not the only big play. Telphy led the Knights with 13 carries for 150 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
“He’s a home-run threat,” Pachot said. “And we made a commitment to get him the ball more.”
Coaches frequently talk about the importance of special teams, but seldom is special teams a difference-maker like it was on Friday.
Rialto kicker Jonathan Pena made field goals of 31 and 38 yards (the latter on the final play of the first half), but he also put every kickoff into the end zone for a touchback.
“I know those guys, No. 7 (Jordan Howard) and No. 24 (Damontae Kazee) want to get their hands on the ball,” Pachot said of Cajon’s kick returners. “So those kickoffs were big.”
Cajon’s special teams were not as good.
Kazee had a huge game offensively for Cajon, with 109 yards receiving and a touchdown and 88 yards rushing and a touchdown, but he’s also the team’s long snapper.
He had two errant long snaps, the first on Cajon’s first extra point (immediately after his 81-yard touchdown run) and the Cowboys failed on the conversion.
The second went over punter Leo Sanchez’s head and a subsequent scramble and errant punt gave Rialto the ball on the Cajon 11.
On the next play, Telphy scored his first touchdown to give Rialto a 10-6 lead in the first quarter.
Cajon answered with another touchdown in the second, a Deontrae Kazee 2-yard run, and Cajon coach Kim Battin elected to go for two in the second quarter and failed, leaving Cajon ahead, 12-10.
“We started chasing points early and probably shouldn’t have done that,” Battin said.
Rialto’s first two-minute drill came at the end of the first half, as the Knights drove down, with Morgan’s 18-yard scramble setting up Pena’s 38-yard field goal that gave Rialto a 13-12 lead at the half.
Damontae Kazee turned a short pass into a 65-yard touchdown after sidestepping one defender and jumping over another to give Cajon a 19-13 lead with 1:58 to play in the third.
But on the very next play, Telphy answered with a 69-yard run and Rialto regained the lead 20-19.
Rialto’s next two drives ended with Morgan interceptions, including one by Damontae Kazee. The second interception (by Michael Sandoval) led to Gaines turning a short pass and racing up the middle for a 43-yard touchdown and a 25-20 lead with 5:15 to play. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the door open for Rialto.
Martinez completed 20 of 32 passes for 257 yards and no interceptions for Cajon.
“That was a great football game between two good football teams,” Battin said. “Those are two teams that showed a lot of heart. But they’ve still got some tough games left. I’ve said all along I didn’t think the league champion would go undefeated.”