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University Holds Off Dogged Los Amigos


Los Amigos did nearly everything it needed to do Thursday to beat Pacific Coast League champion University, but the Lobos fell short of their second stunning upset in three weeks as University held on for a 21-13 victory at Irvine High.

University (9-2) advanced to a Division IX quarterfinal matchup next week against tonight's La Habra-La Verne Bonita winner.

Los Amigos (5-5-1), which upset Garden Grove League co-champion Pacifica Nov. 2, looked like another victim early on, as the Lobos were penalized twice and had a bad pitch and a poor punt on their opening possession. University needed only four plays to take the lead, with Scott Pickett going up the middle from the two-yard line.

Pickett also had the play of the game in the second quarter to give the Trojans the lead for good. After Johnny Atuatasi tied the score, 7-7, with a two-yard run, Pickett returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a 14-7 University lead. Pickett barely slowed down, hurdling a pile-up near midfield.

Los Amigos resorted to some gadgetry to get back in the game. The Lobos kicked onside to open the second half and recovered, setting up a 14-yard Sam Islas touchdown run, but still trailed after a missed conversion. A second onside kick after that touchdown was recovered by the Trojans. University added a touchdown on an impressive 30-yard Jay Nichols run later in the quarter, then sweated out a seven-minute Los Amigos drive in the fourth quarter. The Lobos eventually turned over the ball on downs at the University 12.

The Lobos outgained University, 248-229, and controlled the ball for more than 28 minutes.

"We did a good job with the ball, but we needed some stops on third down," Los Amigos Coach David Olson said. "Outside of the kickoff return, we were right there."

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