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Sonuyi, Aztecs Put Upland Away With Big Second Half

September 09, 2000|DALE RUHE

Esperanza High spotted Upland a 14-point first-quarter lead before rallying behind the 250-yard rushing performance of Temitope Sonuyi to defeat the Highlanders, 28-14, Friday night at Valencia High School.

Sonuyi, who missed the first half of his junior season with a broken hand, began his senior year quietly; Upland held him to 51 yards in the first half.

He got Esperanza on the scoreboard just before halftime with the first of three touchdown runs, which cut Upland's lead to 14-7.

Esperanza built on that in the second half and took the lead for good when Sonuyi sprinted 77 yards for his second touchdown with 2 minutes 25 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Aztec Coach Gary Meek said his team played badly in the first quarter. "But we got better as the game went on," he said. "We wore Upland down physically in the second half."

Meek was worried that his team would not be able to generate enough offense to counter the two touchdown passes thrown by Upland quarterback Bo Drake in the first seven minutes.

Though unable to cash in on a couple of early scoring opportunities because of a penalty and an interception, the Aztecs rallied after Daniel Pace recovered a fumble by Upland running back Geremy Bascomb with two minutes left in the first half. Sonuyi scored four plays later.

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