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GAME OF THE WEEK : Dorsey Turns Taft into the Heartbreak Kids : With Seconds Left, Dons' Antwain Wilson Returns an Interception for the Winning Touchdown, 26-20

November 27, 1994|KENNEDY COSGROVE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dons defensive back Antwain Wilson intercepted a pass and raced untouched down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown as time expired to defeat Taft, 26-20, in a 4-A Division quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Dorsey (10-2) advances to the semifinals next week against Crenshaw.

Trailing 20-7 with only five minutes to play, Dorsey scored twice to tie the score. But when the Dorsey kicker missed a tiebreaking extra-point attempt, and Taft recovered a subsequent onside kick at its own 44-yard line with 34 seconds to play, overtime appeared a certainty.

But Taft was looking for a quicker finish to the evening. With 10 seconds to play and the ball at the 50, quarterback Dayon Shaw tried one last pass to get into range for a winning field goal, a sideline route to DaShon Polk. The pass was overthrown, right into the chest of Wilson.

"It's the best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life," Wilson said while standing in the middle of a jubilant crowd. "I told the guys, 'Never get your head down, because anything can happen'--as you can see."

It was the second consecutive season the Toreadors have lost to Dorsey in the playoffs.

Taft appeared to have the game well in hand after scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 20-7 lead. The first came on a 23-yard pass from Shaw to running back Dion Gaston on a third-down play. Taft missed the extra point and led, 12-7.

On Dorsey's next play, quarterback Roderick Brown fumbled the exchange and Toreador lineman Juan Madera recovered at the Dons' 18-yard line. Two plays later, Shaw ran 16 yards on a bootleg for the touchdown, and Gaston ran in the two-point conversion.

But as Taft players relished the thought of avenging last season's 33-7 loss to Dorsey, the Dons struck quickly. They needed only three plays to score after Raymont Skaggs returned the kickoff 43 yards, cutting the lead to six points on a 25-yard pass from Brown to Wilson.

Then came what has proved the bane of Taft--the onside kick. For the third time in two playoff games, the Toreadors were unable to recover the squib kick, and Dorsey took over at the 50.

"We just couldn't get a bounce," Taft lineman Edwin Preza said.

Nine plays later, Dorsey's Brown scored on a three-yard keeper. Raul Menjivar missed the extra point to keep the score tied.

"Our dream just went down the drain," Preza said. "It was time for people to step up and show their character. We just couldn't pull it out."

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