Rio Mesa coach John Reardon had to be experiencing a little bit of dejavu.
Two years ago, his football team beat Camarillo with a last second field goal to win to win, 3-0, in one of the area's most heated rivalries. Friday night, before 5,000 screaming fans at Camarillo, Reardon's team came from behind at the last second again: This time it was with a two-yard, two-point conversion pass from quarterback Steve Carolan to Todd Gamboa that gave the Spartans a 20-19 victory.
The winning conversion came after Carolan had engine-yard scoring drive, capped by a seven yard strike to Gamboa.
"We were down, but there was no way were weren't going to go for the win," Reardon said, "The combination worked on the touchdown, so we just came back with it."
Camarillo had seemingly won the game when the Scorpions came back from a 12-7 deficit to score twice in the fourth quarter.
The Scorpions went up 13-12, when Mike Henry, who completed 11 of 17 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns, hit tight end Gary Litten with a seven-yard touchdown pass with 8:08 remaining in the game.
One series later, the Scorpions struck again. This time, it was fullback Tom Roberts going in from eight yards out with just 1:53 remaining. The conversion kick by Dan Eastman failed, but Camarillo looked like it was in control.
But, just when the Scorpions thought it was over, Carolan got hot.
The senior quarterback, who completed 9 of 16 passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns, demonstrated how to orchestrate properly a two-minute drill.
"We knew what they were going to do, but we just couldn't stop them," Camarillo Coach Carl Thompson said. "There isn't much to say. We just got beat."
Rio Mesa scored first in the game after the Spartans took control of the ball at the Camarillo 47-yard line with 11:19 left in the first half.
Manny Sanchez carried the ball in for the Spartans and after the conversion attempt failed Rio Mesa led 6-0.
Camarillo answered with a 57-yard, seven-play drive that was capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Henry to Litten. Eastman kicked the conversion and the Scorpions led 7-6 at the half.
Rio Mesa 0 6 0 14 -- 20 Camarillo 0 7 0 12 -- 19 RM--Sanchez 1 yard run (kick failed).
CAM--Litten 20-yard pass from Henry (Eastman kick).
RM--Romanano 8-yard pass from Carolan (Kick failed).
CAM--Litten 7-yard pass from Henry (Kick failed).
CAM--Roberts 8-yard run (kick failed).
RMI--Gamboa 7-yard pass from Carolan (Gamboa 2-yard pass from Carolan).