Since the first day of practice, Mike Webb of Calabasas High had his eyes on a championship. Now, he's close to getting two of them.
Webb, a sophomore who started the season on the sophomore team, scored the winning touchdown with five minutes left in the fourth quarter to give the Coyotes a 26-25 upset win over Bloomington in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section playoffs on Friday at Calabasas.
Webb joined the varsity before Calabasas' final regular-season game, after the junior varsity team had clinched its league championship.
"We knew he could play varsity all along," Calabasas Coach Larry Edwards said. "We have a philosophy here that we want our program to win from top to bottom. He's just kept getting better from the time we brought him up."
Said Webb: "I was more nervous tonight than I have been in my entire life. I thought I'd play a little when they brought me up, but not this much."
Next Friday, the Coyotes (8-3-1) will face Woodbridge, a 14-7 winner over Atascadero on Friday night, in the semifinals of the Desert Mountain Conference. Bloomington, which was ranked No. 1 in the conference, finished 11-1.
Webb's game-winning touchdown capped a comeback that saw the Coyotes rally from a 12-point deficit midway through the third quarter.
Bloomington led 18-13 at halftime and boosted the lead to 25-13 on its first possession of the second half when tailback Ricky White turned a screen pass from James Armendariz into a 71-yard touchdown.
Armendariz completed 20 of 29 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. He connected on only 1 of his first 3 attempts, but then completed 11 in a row.
But Calabasas cut the Bruins' lead to 25-19 with five minutes left in the third quarter on a 29-yard draw by quarterback Darren Del'Andrae. The play worked consistently throughout the second half as Del'Andrae gained 65 yards on seven carries, including three runs of more than 10 yards.
"We made an adjustment after we saw that they were giving us the quarterback sneak," Edwards said. "We told him to run whenever he thought he could make it."
Calabasas began the winning drive from its 20-yard line after Bloomington kicker Ramon Rodriguez missed a 30-yard field goal attempt.
Although the Coyotes rode the arm of Del'Andrae throughout the game, they threw only twice on the final drive. They moved the ball behind the running of Scott Pensis before Webb, who finished with 38 yards on six carries, scored on a sweep around left end.
Bloomington took an 18-13 halftime lead after Evric Gray caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Armendariz in the closing moments. The touchdown, which came on a fourth-and-17 situation, capped a six-play, 80-yard drive by the Bruins.
On the previous possession, Calabasas had taken a 13-12 lead on a 45-yard field goal by Marty Garron.
Calabasas led, 10-0, in the first quarter but then the Coyotes committed mistakes on consecutive possessions that allowed Bloomington to take a 12-10 advantage.
The Bruins scored their first touchdown after Calabasas punter Matt Webb was unable to control a high snap early in the second quarter. Bloomington took over on the Coyotes' five-yard line and scored three plays later on a one-yard run over left guard by Andre Florez. The PAT was blocked.
On the Coyotes next possession, Webb had his punt blocked and Bloomington started a drive at Calabasas' 29-yard line. The Bruins scored six plays later on a 19-yard pass from Armendariz to Demetrius Brown.