In an epic first round game in the Division Five CIF Southern Section Football Championships the Etiwanda Eagles proved to any doubters that they belonged in the playoffs.
The Eagles are the At-Large team representing the Baseline League and underdogs coming into the game facing the Hacienda League Champions, Diamond Ranch Panthers.
Diamond Ranch scored first to take the early 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 33-yard pass from quarterback Cade Miller to Andrew Martinez. The score would remain that way until the third quarter.
The Panthers took a 21-0 lead in the third quarter. Diamond Ranch running back Hunter Clark scored on a 29-yard run and quarterback Miller scored on the 13-yard keeper.
Etiwanda scored their first touchdown in the third quarter as quarterback Isaiah Vasquez connected a 29-yard pass to Joshua Ramirez in the end zone for the touchdown.
With 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter the Eagles closed the deficit to just one touchdown as Vasquez completed a 46-yard pass to Jordan Williams for the touchdown.
Leading 21-14 in the fourth quarter. The Panthers Miller on the quarterback keeper ran the ball 46-yards to score the touchdown. Diamond Ranch would lead Etiwanda 28-14.
The Eagles passing game stayed hot as Vasquez tossed a short pass to Devontey Miller from the Etiwanda 19-yard line. Miller would run the majority of the 81-yard play to score the touchdown with 7:31 remaining in the game. That touchdown brought the Eagles within one touchdown of tying the game.
Etiwanda’s special teams made a huge play blocking a Diamond Ranch punt attempt from their own 13-yard line.
The Eagles would capitalize on the play as a few plays later Etiwanda’s running back Jerry Brown would run the ball in from 3-yards out. This tied the game 28-28 with 4:29 remaining in the game.
At the end of regulation the game remained tied which forced overtime play. Diamond Ranch won the coin toss and elected to defer the ball.
It was the Eagles scoring first in overtime as Vasquez threw a 20-yard pass to Williams who hauled it in to the end zone for the go ahead score. It would be the first time that Etiwanda would take the lead in the game 35-28.
Diamond Ranch has their opportunity to score. However, penalties hampered their drive. On 4th and goal form the Eagles 20-yard line, the Panthers Miller threw an end zone pass. However, an Eagles defender was able to knock the ball down ending the game in dramatic fashion.
Etiwanda will play the Quarter Final game at home facing the Palomares League’s Glendora Tartans.