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El Modena Going to Playoffs for First Time in Four Years

November 16, 1996|PATRICK LARKIN

ORANGE — El Modena earned a berth in the Southern Section playoffs for the first time in four years with a 15-14 victory over Villa Park in a Century League game Friday at El Modena High.

The Vanguards (4-6, 3-2) took third place in the league.

"We've been getting better every week," El Modena Coach Steve Howard said. "We came out and controlled the tempo in the second half and I feel fantastic."

El Modena made several key plays in the fourth quarter after taking the 15-14 lead on one-yard run by Mike Walters with 11 minutes 56 seconds left in the game.

One came when Pat Salceda intercepted Villa Park quarterback Matt Jackson's pass at the El Modena 30 with 5:37 left. But perhaps the biggest play came when El Modena punter pinned the Spartans (3-7, 1-4) inside their one-yard line with 1:51 left in the game. Cesar Vasquez kept the punt from rolling in the end zone.

Villa Park drove to the Vanguards 33, but turned the ball over on downs with less than a minute left.

El Modena took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Charlie Williams. The Vanguards made it 9-0 when Eddie Lemus tackled punter Matt McClary in the end zone with 3:03 left in the half.

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