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Late Miscue Paves Way for Antelope Valley Victory


Perhaps Antelope Valley College could have engineered a last-minute drive for the winning field goal.

But as it was, good fortune intervened on the Marauders' behalf in a 21-14 victory over host San Bernardino Valley in a Foothill Conference game Saturday night.

With 1 minute 27 seconds left and the score tied, 14-14, a bad snap on a San Bernardino punt from the 30-yard line gave the Marauders a first and goal just inside the Indian 10-yard line.

Punter Steve Price tracked down the ball but immediately was leveled by Rick Starling.

Antelope Valley (6-0-1, 4-0-1 in conference play) ran the ball three consecutive plays, scoring on Steve Miller's five-yard run over right tackle with 34 seconds left.

"We weren't thinking field goal at that time," said Miller, who rushed for 72 yards in 23 attempts. "We just wanted to score a touchdown."

After playing to a 14-14 standoff in the first half, neither team mounted a serious threat in the second half until the errant Indian snap.

San Bernardino (2-5, 1-4) drove to the Antelope Valley 35-yard line on its initial possession of the second half, but Starling recovered an Obie Cooper fumble.

Until the last two minutes, Antelope Valley's deepest penetration was to the San Bernardino 48-yard line, but that drive fizzled when a pass by Marty Washington (seven of 16 for 38 yards, two touchdowns) was intercepted by Derek DeWitt at the Indian 33.

"We had a little luck tonight," Miller said. "But we always thought we had a chance to make something happen."

After being stung for two touchdowns--and falling behind 14-0--in the first quarter, Antelope Valley regrouped in the second quarter and tied the score, 14-14, six seconds before halftime.

The tying touchdown came on a 15-yard pass from Washington to Tony Simmons (84 yards rushing in 17 carries), but it was Daron Rodgers' recovery of quarterback Anthony Strickland's fumble at the San Bernardino 22-yard line that set up the score.

Washington's pass to Simmons came on a broken play as the redshirt freshman from Grambling State was chased out of the pocket before hitting Simmons at the 15-yard line. From there, Simmons juked a couple of Indian defenders to get into the end zone.

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