CERRITOS — Ryan Matthews connected with Dan Salazar on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left, giving Cerritos a 21-15 victory over Brethren Christian Thursday at Gahr High School.
Brethren Christian led, 15-13, at halftime and managed to hold that lead for most of the second half.
Cerritos turned the ball over on four of its first five second-half possessions and had three gains of 20-plus yards nullified by penalties.
Brethren Christian converted on fourth and one at its 42 with 2 minutes 18 seconds remaining and needed only to run out the clock. However, John Dingman fumbled on the next play, and the ball was recovered by Cerritos linebacker Scott Biehn at the Warrior 35. Matthews led Cerritos downfield and capped the drive with a bizarre scoring pass.
Matthews overthrew Salazar at the goal line and the pass was batted down by Brethren Christian defender Ryan Babcock, but Salazar reached down and caught the deflected ball, falling into the end zone. Cerritos added a two-point conversion for the final margin.
Brethren Christian held the lead at the half, thanks to a 10-play drive that ended in a Babcock-to-Kevin Cooper 15-yard touchdown pass with 9:50 remaining in the first half.
The Warriors were fortunate on the conversion. Kicker Dan Harney fielded a bad snap, rolled out, and passed to Dan Muilenberg for the two-point conversion and a 15-7 lead.