Sierra Canyon Football is Gold Coast League Champion
By Jacob H. Pollon
Sierra Canyon Athletics Dept. Staff Writer
The Sierra Canyon football team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Friday. The Trailblazers were trailing by 11 points with under 11 minutes remaining on a cold, cold evening in Lancaster up in the High Desert.
But somehow, some way, Sierra Canyon managed to pull off a crazy comeback with two fourth quarter touchdowns from J.D. “Quatro” Sumlin and take down Paraclete 24-20. Not only did the Trailblazers win the Gold Coast League championship and improve to 9-1 overall, Sierra Canyon beat the Spirits for the fourth time in the last five meetings.
“We couldn’t have played more poorly and won a football game, Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse said. “We weren’t ourselves. That said, it’s great to win and win another league championship. Our guys found a way to win not on their best night.”
Paraclete led 20-9 with under 11 minutes remaining when the Spirits let Sierra Canyon back in the game with a fumble deep in their own territory. Shortly thereafter, Sumlin scored on a short rushing touchdown and Chayden Peery’s two-point conversion pass was also good.
Suddenly it was 20-17 and Sierra Canyon just needed one more stop to get the ball back. Paraclete converted one first down, but the Spirits could not get another being forced to punt.
The Trailblazers took over and drove down the field once more culminating with another Sumlin touchdown. This time it was Peery to Sumlin for a touchdown pass with 2:33 remaining. The Trailblazers led in a game many thought might be over.
Paraclete came up just short on third-and-9. Sierra Canyon took three knees and escaped Antelope Valley College with a league championship.
Peery was 15 of 19 for 173 yards. Sumlin caught two touchdown passes and rushed for another. Sierra Canyon just did enough and just in the nick of time.
The Trailblazers are expected to be the top-seed in the Division 2 playoffs when pairings are announced Sunday. The first home game is expected to be at Calabasas High against Santa Margarita.