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East Valley's Win Is Citrus Sweet

Reserve quarterback Stadler leads winning drive in thrilling 41-40 victory over Colton.

November 12, 2005|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

It was an improbable way to win a Citrus Belt League title and knock off a powerhouse. The starting quarterback was on the bench with a separated shoulder, and the backup had only 50 seconds to try to give his team a chance to win.

But senior Mike Stadler came through, completing five of nine passes for 54 yards on the winning touchdown drive, then delivered a pass for a two-point conversion with one second left that gave Redlands East Valley a 41-40 victory over Colton, ranked No. 17 by The Times, Friday at the University of Redlands.

The victory provided the Wildcats (9-0-1 overall, 7-0) with the league title, their second in three years, but one that few could have seen coming against a Colton offense that has been spectacular this season.

Stadler's winning toss to Lance Evboumwan covered 19 yards, and they paired up again on the two-point conversion. The winning drive covered 63 yards, but Redlands East Valley was in position to win only because of a blatant pass interference penalty against Colton's James Smith on third and 10 from the Yellowjackets' 34-yard line.

Special teams play led to three touchdowns by the Wildcats. Some of those plays were the result of mistakes by Colton (8-2, 6-1). A nine-yard punt gave Redlands East Valley the ball at the Colton 35, and Chris Polk later scored from two yards.

Isaiah Burel, who had caught Ronnie Fouch's 15-yard pass for a first-quarter score, returned a kickoff 87 yards with 43 seconds left in the first half to cut Colton's halftime lead to 26-21.

Redlands East Valley took its first lead, 33-32, on a 30-yard drive after Colton muffed a kickoff at the 30-yard line. The big play came from the 27 on fourth and six, when Fouch scrambled for a 20-yard gain, but he was knocked from the game after being hit by Allen Bradford.

From there, Darrel Acrey scored with 3:20 to go. It was too much time for Colton, which drove 80 yards on the arm of Bradley Sorenson, his final toss covering seven yards to Bradford. Sorenson finished 11 of 16 for 238 yards and touchdowns of 26, 76 and seven yards. Smith caught six passes for 160 yards, including the 76-yarder that completed a 98-yard drive that gave Colton a 32-21 lead entering the fourth quarter.

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