Two teams that know a little about the agony of close defeats met Thursday night at Glover Stadium. And much to the agony of one, the game was decided by one point.
Western High School, which has suffered two losses by a total of six points, found out how the other half lives--the half that wins the close ones--with a 13-12 win over Anaheim in front of 1,500 spectators.
The loss was a bitter one for Anaheim for a number of reasons. First of all, it spoiled the Colonists' homecoming party. Second, it gave The Bell, the perpetual trophy in this rivalry, back to Western after Anaheim got it back with a 19-14 win last season.
Third, and perhaps most frustrating, it was the second straight week in which the Colonists lost an Orange League game after taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
Anaheim led, 16-7, entering the fourth quarter last week and ended up losing to Brea-Olinda, 21-16, on the Wildcats' 59-yard touchdown pass with 1:27 to play.
Against Western, the go-behind score came with 11:28 remaining, but that didn't make it any less painful.
Carl Manliguis swept around right end behind a block from Dan Price for a 10-yard touchdown run that gave the Pioneers a 13-12 win. Western's two-point conversion attempt failed, but it didn't matter. The Pioneers had made their point.
Manliguis' touchdown capped an eight-play, 58-yard drive that followed an Anaheim punt. All the yards were obtained on the ground, where Western rather mysteriously found it could move the ball after a less-than moving first half.
The Pioneers were held to 28 yards rushing in the first half, but running backs Manliguis and Bob Posadas combined for 80 yards rushing in the second half to enable Western to take control. Manliguis finished as the game's leading rusher with 62 yards on 11 carries.
Anaheim took a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter when quarterback Ernest Johnson dragged a tackler with him into the end zone from 3 yards out. The touchdown was set up by a roughing the passer penalty that nullified a Western interception and gave the Colonists a first down at the Western 15.
Augie Lopez' conversion kick was blocked by Don Denne, a point that would figure heavily later.
Gilbert Bill recovered a Johnston fumble at the Anaheim 12-yard line to set up the Pioneers' first score.
Quarterback Mike Huy, starting in place of Rich Lodding, scored on a keeper from 4 yards out. Scott Pawloski's conversion kick gave Western a 7-6 lead with 7:19 left in the first half.
Just as Western rediscovered its running game in the second half, Anaheim realized the need to get the ball to it's leading receiver, Mark Rahlwes. The Colonists opened the second half by moving 70 yards in seven plays to set up a 6-yard scoring pass from Johnston to William Barber. Rahlwes set up the score by catching three passes for 65 yards. After a quiet first half, he finished with 5 receptions for 86 yards.