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Esperanza Gets Offense in Gear to Beat Upland

September 27, 1997|DALE RUHE

UPLAND — After scoring just 21 points in its previous two games, Esperanza doubled that total Friday night, rolling to a 42-9 victory over Upland at Upland High.

Esperanza broke the game open with 28 consecutive points in the first half. The Aztecs gained 359 yards in total offense, punishing an Upland defense that had allowed an average of 113 yards to its first two opponents.

Junior quarterback Grant Wagner led the Esperanza offense by completing nine of 19 attempts for 217 yards and four touchdowns. His first scoring pass was good for 67 yards to tight end Bo Ashabraner to give the Aztecs a 7-3 lead with 44 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Aztecs (2-1) scored what proved to be the winning points when Wagner found Ryan Sharpe on fourth down for a 36-yard touchdown pass with 9:33 left in the first half.

Upland (1-2) quarterback Rusty McCarthy, who passed for 203 yards on 17 of 37 attempts, completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Steve Bryant with slightly more than five minutes left before halftime.

Esperanza scored its final 28 points within a 13-minute span in the second half. Wagner found Aaron Hill and Matt Colin for touchdown tosses of 43 and 23 yards.

The last two Aztec touchdowns came on a five-yard run by Ali Lutsi and a 95-yard interception return by Jarrod Schuster.

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