Quarterback Rich Earlywire scored on a 15-yard run with 6:32 left in the game to give Whittier Christian High School a 14-7 Inland Conference playoff football victory over Bishop Friday night at Whittier College.
Earlywire's touchdown came on a broken play and capped Whittier Christian's 57-yard, 9-play drive, which broke a 7-7 tie.
"Earlywire made a great play on that touchdown run," Whittier Christian Coach Phil Bravo said. "It was a broken play, and he was supposed to pitch the ball to one of the backs but none were there, so instead of throwing the ball away, he turned it upfield for the touchdown. He was our MVP tonight."
Also playing a major role in the Whittier Christian victory was sophomore linebacker Ron Papazian, who intercepted a pass by Bishop quarterback Pat Bustos at the Whittier Christian 46-yard line to set up the winning touchdown drive. A clipping penalty on the interception return pushed the ball back to the 43.
Papazian also intercepted a pass by Bustos in Whittier Christian territory on Bishop's final drive of the game to preserve the victory.
"He's one of those dream players," Bravo said of Papazian. "He gets better and better every week, and he certainly made some of the key plays tonight."
Whittier Christian took a 7-0 lead with 1:11 left in the first half when Earlywire connected with tight end Wayne Hefft on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Defensive tackle Shaine Timmons set up the touchdown five plays earlier when he recovered a fumble by Bishop running back Jerry Kessler on the Broncos' 35-yard line.
Kessler later made up for his mistake when he tied the score, 7-7, in the third quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run.
Whittier Christian (9-3) advances to the semifinals, against Carpinteria, which beat Boron, 34-0, Friday. Bishop finished the year at 8-4.