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Defense Does Job for Trojans

Football: Thwarting key Woodbridge drives in second half, University scores 24-21 victory.


Zack Sherwood caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from Jay Nichols, and a determined University defense held off a late threat by Woodbridge to secure a 24-21 victory Friday night at Irvine High School.

Trailing by three in the fourth quarter, Woodbridge began a drive at its 21-yard line. Eleven plays later, the Warriors (2-1) faced fourth down and nine on the University 23. Rather than attempt a field goal that would have tied the score, Woodbridge decided to go for a first down with less than a minute remaining.

For the fifth consecutive drive in the half, the University defense made a big play when it had to, and forced an incomplete pass from Woodbridge quarterback Jimmy Pearson.

"We played with a lot of heart," University Coach Mark Cunningham said. "We looked horrible against a good Irvine team two weeks ago, better last week [a 30-0 victory over El Monte Arroyo] but this is a big step in the right direction."

During a sloppy first half which featured four fumbles, two interceptions, a missed field goal and a blocked punt, Woodbridge capitalized on some miscues to score 21 unanswered points and take a 21-17 lead into the locker room.

The Trojans (2-1) were led by quarterback Nichols, who completed seven of 16 pass attempts for 165 yards, with one interception. Sherwood was the recipient of three of those passes for 108 yards, including his touchdown. Sherwood also converted three PATs and kicked a 20-yard field goal.

Woodbridge's Will Banks rushed for 71 yards in 21 carries, scoring on runs of five and two yards.

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