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Football

Fillmore’s Late Touchdown Sinks Carpinteria in Heartbreaker

Fillmore's George Tarango proved to be a thorn in Carpinteria's side, hauling in eight catches for 153 yards including the game winning touchdown.

Carpinteria running back Jacob Garside breaks away from a Fillmore defender on a long gain. Click to view larger
Carpinteria running back Jacob Garside breaks away from a Fillmore defender on a long gain. (Javier Delarosa / Noozhawk photo)

When Fillmore needed a touchdown most, it went to its most trusted player. 

Wide receiver George Tarango hauled in a pass from quarterback Christian Cisneros in the corner of the end zone with 20 seconds left to clinch a 28-24 victory over Carpinteria in the Frontier League football opener on Friday at Carpinteria.

The score capped a 7-play, 87-yard drive by Fillmore (2-6, 1-0 Frontier League).

It was a game of ups and downs for both teams. In the first half, Carpinteria (2-6, 0-1) and Fillmore traded scores, with each of the first six drives ending in a touchdown.

First, Carpinteria quarterback Vance Keiser punched the ball in from 2 yards just over three minutes into the game to put the Warriors on the board.

Fillmore promptly responded with a 5-play, 43-yard drive that ended with running back Saul Santarosa scoring from 1-yard out. Santarosa would also score on the Flashes next drive on a 10-yard run. Santarosa carried the ball 10 times for 70 yards.

Carpinteria running back Jacob Garside scored from 1 yard and Mikey Garibay hauled in a 45-yard touchdown reception from Keiser on a third-and-17 to put the Warriors up 21-14. Garibay ended the night with 161 total yards on 17 rushes and four catches, and Garside put up 98 yards on 16 carries and two catches.

Vincent Gonzalez makes a diving attempt to tackle Fillmore’s Saul Santarosa. Click to view larger
Vincent Gonzalez makes a diving attempt to tackle Fillmore’s Saul Santarosa. (Javier Delarosa / Noozhawk photo)

Fillmore answered yet again on a 4-yard run by back Daniel Tafoya, knotting the score at 21-21 at halftime.

The second half was an entirely different story, with neither team scoring a touchdown until Tarango's game winner.

"It was not a whole lot of adjustments [on defense], it was mostly doing things we were supposed to be doing in the first half," Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock commented. "What we didn't do is get those plays on offense."

Brian Garcia's 24-yard field goal with 6:25 in the third quarter was the last of the scoring for the Warriors, who took a 24-21 lead.

Five of the next seven drives for either team ended in turnovers. Carpinteria's Vincent Gonzalez made a diving catch to intercept Cisneros at the Fillmore 19, but the Warriors failed to capitalize on the good field position.

The Warriors punted the ball away with just over a minute left and the Flashes took over at their own 13. On the final drive, Cisneros was 3-for-3 with 62 yards when targeting Tarango.

"We just wanted to play our defense as well as we could and keep them from scoring," said Hallock. "They did a great job of stopping the clock and getting first downs." 

The Flashes' defense shut down Carpinteria in the second half, allowing only 99 yards. 

Keiser completed just one pass for 27 yards in the second half. For the game, he went 7-for-11 with 99 yards and one touchdown. He also notched 31 rushing yards with a touchdown.

Carpinteria hosts Santa Clara next Friday in a must-win Frontier League matchup.

"We're gonna play hard for four quarters," insisted Hallock of next week's game.

— Noozhawk sports reporter Christian Eckert can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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