TUSTIN — The last time Coach Tom Meiss' Knights played a tiebreaker in the Southern Section Division V football playoffs, they lost to Newport Harbor. Nearly three years later, Foothill beat El Dorado in triple overtime, 50-49, in a first-round game Friday night at Tustin High.
Senior fullback Carlos Ruelas plunged in from the one-yard line on fourth down on Foothill's third overtime possession to tie the score, 49-49.
Jonathan Whiddon's conversion attempt was low, but it counted to give the Knights the victory and a meeting with Tustin in the second round.
Foothill (6-5) won the coin-flip at the end of regulation with the score tied, 29-29. The Knights deferred, giving first possession to El Dorado (8-3). The Golden Hawks scored on quarterback Mitch Nord's five-yard run. Mark Wade's kick was good.
Foothill came back with a seven-yard touchdown run by Robbie Koster and the extra point kick by Whiddon.
The Knight offense stayed on the field and the order was reversed.
Foothill's Skyler Champion, who finished the game with 223 yards and 24 carries, scored from 14 yards out. El Dorado running back Steve Warfield then scored from the 1 and Wade's kick tied the score, 43-43.
The Golden Hawks scored their final touchdown on a six-yard run by Warfield. He finished with 112 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Wade's kick was wide left, leaving El Dorado ahead, 49-43.
Foothill then took over with a chance to win the game.
Koster ran the ball six yards on first down but fumbled the snap and recovered it for a one-yard loss.
Foothill's Ruelas rushed twice and scored on his second run to tie the score and the Knights took the lead on Whiddon's extra point.
Foothill led at halftime, 22-8, on two touchdown passes from Koster to Matt Hall, who has caught five passes in the last two games, all for touchdowns.
Warfield scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to tie the score, 22-22. Foothill took the lead with 7 minutes 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a one-yard pass from Koster to Champion.
El Dorado tied the score, 29-29, with 1:28 left on an 18-yard run by Brandon Fischer.