With the help of a team meeting, Foothill High School came back from a 17-point halftime deficit to defeat Irvine High School, 21-17, Friday night at Tustin High.
"The key to this win was an incredible halftime speech," Foothill Coach Marty McWhinney said. "And it wasn't by (the coaching staff). The kids asked us to leave and I don't know what went on in there."
Quarterback John Shanahan said, "Our team had been playing lethargic so we (Shanahan and co-captains Jamal Duff and Jason Hairston) knew we had to do something. We told the team we had to win this for us and no one else. It was incredibly inspirational."
The Knights came back strong in the second half, with Sean Saunders gaining 123 of his 135 yards rushing in the second half. Three minutes into the third quarter, Shanahan scored on a one-yard run and Kent Donnelly kicked the extra point to pull Foothill (2-3) within 17-7. Later in the quarter, Jamal Duff caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Shanahan.
With one minute remaining, Shanahan ran for another one-yard touchdown, with Donnelly's kick completing the play.
For Irvine (2-3), Shad Vickers ran for a one-yard touchdown, Mark Huffman kicked three field goals and Brandon Krabbe intercepted two passes.