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Palmdale Gets Up to Down Saugus

Falcons rally without Livermont on two touchdown passes by backup Coleman.

September 21, 1996|DANA HADDAD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PALMDALE — It's been a long road back to respectability but Palmdale High earned it Friday night.

With three consecutive scoring drives late in the second quarter and early in the third, Palmdale wiped out a 16-point deficit and posted a 26-19 upset of Saugus, ranked ninth in the Valley area by The Times.

Palmdale, which lost quarterback Grant Livermont to a bruised shoulder in the second quarter, posted its most dramatic victory in six years under Coach Jeff Williams.

"It's been a long time, not since I was an assistant in 1988," Williams said. "This club is never going to say die."

Reserve quarterback Jeremy Coleman gave Palmdale its tying and winning touchdowns on touchdown passes of 35 and 15 yards to Malosi Leonard.

Jan Brown rushed for 199 yards in 19 carries and a touchdown.

"We're pumped," Brown said. "We just beat a ranked team. The execution was good. Everything worked out good."

Not completely.

Palmdale (2-0) gave Saugus two gift scores that enabled the Centurions to build a 19-3 lead.

The Falcons gave Saugus the momentum when Livermont threw an interception on the third play of the game to hand the Centurions an early touchdown.

Saugus also cashed in a safety when Livermont, who also punts, kicked the ball out of the end zone after a high snap.

But Palmdale suddenly took the momentum with a 35-yard touchdown run by Brown and a 35-yard scoring pass play from Coleman to Leonard in the final 3 minutes 25 seconds of the half and left the Centurions (1-1) heading to the locker room in a state of shock.

Converting two-point conversions after each touchdown, Palmdale tied the score, 19-19.

Travis Lahey intercepted Livermont's first pass on the Palmdale 37-yard line. Five plays later, Mark Pecaro scored on a four-yard run to make it 7-0.

Palmdale countered with a 74-yard drive that stalled after it had first and goal at the six. Livermont kicked a 23-yard field goal.

Pecaro made it 14-3 with a nine-yard run to cap an 86-yard drive. Saugus added Seth Groller's 21-yard field goal and the safety to make it 19-3.

On the first drive of the second half, Coleman led the Falcons 65 yards, hitting his second touchdown pass to Leonard.

Saugus was not heard from again. The Centurions finished with 165 yards, Pecaro gaining 105 yards in 22 carries.

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