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Loyola Turns Antelope Valley Around, 14-7


GLENDALE — If turnabout is fair play, consider Antelope Valley and Loyola highs even for the past two seasons.

Loyola scored a go-ahead touchdown with seven minutes remaining and held on to beat the Antelopes, 14-7, in a nonleague football game Saturday at Glendale High.

A year ago, Antelope Valley scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory over the Cubs, who were ranked sixth in the state.

A year later Loyola, ranked eighth in the state, turned the tide on the Antelopes with its own brand of heroics.

Antelope Valley (2-2), which lost to third-ranked Bakersfield last week, was clinging to a 7-6 lead and had the Cubs facing fourth and inches at midfield when the momentum turned.

Loyola's Mike Ellison, who rushed for 135 yards in 25 carries, picked up the first down, but there was a flag on the play. The referee, however, picked up the flag and waved off an apparent penalty on Loyola.

"There was illegal motion on that fourth and short; the referee saw it, flagged it, and then ate his flag," Antelope Valley Coach Brent Newcomb said.

On the next play, Loyola quarterback Kyle Spielbuehler completed a pass to Joe Cesta over the middle. Cesta ran to the five, but Jermaine Lewis forced a fumble. As Lewis tried to recover the ball, Cesta, a 6-foot-1, 233-pound tight end, fell on him and Ellison, trailing, recovered the fumble at the two. The play covered 42 yards.

On the next play, Ellison scored his second touchdown of the game, and a two-point conversion gave the Cubs (4-0) a seven-point lead with 7 minutes 6 seconds remaining.

Loyola's swarming defense held Lewis, who gained 108 yards against the Cubs last season, in check. Lewis finished with 50 yards in 14 carries.

Antelope Valley had trouble holding the ball in the first half, fumbling three times, but losing possession only once.

Quarterback Bobby Brown, who earned his first start because Trymon Redick had the flu all week, fumbled the snap on the Antelopes' second offensive play. Cesta's recovery on Antelope Valley's 15 set up the Cubs' first score. Ellison bolted up the middle on the next play to give Loyola a 6-0 lead just three minutes into the game.

The Antelopes answered with a 12-play, 49-yard drive, but Chad Shrout's 39-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right.

The Antelopes claimed a 7-6 lead on Brown's 56-yard pass play to Chad Murphy with 29 seconds remaining in the first half.

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