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PREP EXTRA / SATURDAY FOOTBALL PULLOUT : Tie Leaves Anaheim Players, Fans in Knots


ANAHEIM — Allen Carter, Anaheim football coach, felt empty. Reuben Droughns, his standout tailback, was doubled over and teary eyed. The Colonists fans could only boo.

It was to be a defining moment for Anaheim Friday. All it got was a 15-15 tie against Valencia. They could have had much more.

The Tigers, after all, had won or shared 10 of the last 11 Orange League titles and won three Southern Section titles during that time. So Anaheim, once one of the top programs in Southern California, had a chance to reaffirm its power.

Certainly the Colonists' fans were ready. Men wearing old lettermen jackets, dating as far back as the 1950s, dotted the crowd of 5,000 at Glover Stadium.

And Droughns did his part, with 219 yards rushing and two touchdowns. On his strength, the Colonists (6-0-1, 0-0-1), ranked seventh in Orange County, took a 15-7 lead into the final nine minutes.

Then it all unraveled.

The Tigers, who fell to 1-4-1, 0-0-1, after forfeiting two victories and a tie earlier Friday, have dominated the league since 1983. And they showed why Friday night. They never panicked.

They got within striking range and then quarterback Joe Secoda put everything into one throw. The result was a 36-yard touchdown pass to Marc McGinnis.

"The play wasn't even suppose to go to Marc," Secoda said. "But I saw him break open and just heaved it."

Secoda then hit Jermaine Gray for a two-point conversion and a 15-15 tie with 5 minutes 46 seconds left.

Both teams still had chances.

Droughns was stopped for no gain on a third and one. Valencia was then stopped on three downs and punted. Time ran out with Anaheim on its own 35.

"We got the tie, I guess I'm happy with that," Valencia Coach Mike Marrujo said. "But we made too many mistakes."

Which is why the Tigers should feel fortunate. The biggest snafu was Rhett Shepard's fumble on the second-half kickoff, which set up a 28-yard field goal by Tony Vasquez.

The rest of the Colonist offense was left to Droughns, running behind his bulky offensive line. He had 123 yards by halftime, including a 56-yard touchdown run.

Anaheim had 242 total yards, all but 23 by Droughns.

Still, the lack of support didn't hurt the Colonists as much as their kicking game. They missed both extra points because of bad snaps. Holder Travis Pena had a pass intercepted trying to improvise on one PAT. Vasquez's kick sailed wide on the other.

Valencia got most of its offense from Gray, who gained 133 yards rushing, 119 in the first half. His 54-yard touchdown run and Secoda's conversion gave the Tigers a 7-6 halftime lead.

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