Few games illustrate the fickle nature of football better than Sunny Hills High School's wild 20-19 comeback against Freeway League rival Troy at Fullerton District Stadium Friday night.
With two minutes to go in the third quarter, the massive and talented Warriors were leading the smaller Lancers , 19-7. The Warriors (1-2, 6-2) were playing well and every break had gone their way.
But in less than four minutes, Sunny Hills turned the game upside down on two big plays to take the lead.
Troy's two missed conversions--a missed kick and pass--proved to be the difference.
The game gave Sunny Hills its first 8-0 record in varsity football since the school opened in 1962.
Coach Tim Devaney said his 1984 team had gone 7-0 before losing to Fullerton.
The Lancers (3-0 in league) tightened their early grasp on first place, although they still must face Fullerton and defending champion La Habra.
Troy had a 6-0 lead at halftime, mostly due to a pair of interceptions thrown by Lancer quarterback David Chisum, who had only been intercepted twice in the previous seven games.
But his first attempt was tipped off the hands of receiver Tim Imperiali and grabbed by Warrior linebacker Wayne Ryan. He ran 40 yards for the touchdown, but Todd Murdock's kick was wide.
That set the tone for the night.
Sunny Hills forced Warrior running back Karl Hess to fumble on the second play of the second half and Mike McGuire recovered for the Lancers and ran 30 yards for a touchdown.
But Warrior quarterback Mike Pawlawski, who is not only talented but has a tremendous offensive line, threw a 51-yard pass to David Shirota three plays later for a 12-7 lead.
Defensive back Pawlawski, not content with just scoring on offense, continued the explosive nature of the game by intercepting a pass at the Troy 47-yard line and returning it for a touchdown. It was Pawlawski's fourth interception of the season.
But Devaney replaced Chisum with his other quarterback, Trevor Painton, and the result was immediately gratifying for the Lancers as Kevin Glass caught a 63-yard touchdown pass. But the Lancers attempt at a two-point conversion failed when a pass by John Dysart was overthrown.
The next big play occurred with 10:29 to play. Tim Imperiali ran a punt back 65 yards for a touchdown and Carlos Miramontes' kick was enough to win the game.
It might not have been except that Troy fumbled at the Sunny Hills 12-yard line with three minutes left and Lancer Scott Edmonds recovered and ran 56 yards before the Pawlawski could catch him at the other 32.
Troy nearly pulled another turn-around in the last seconds, driving to the Lancer 26. But, after three completions Pawlawski's last pass was intercepted by Dean Schutt.