Martin Meza made an 18-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to give Mission Hills Alemany a 20-17 victory Friday night over host Westlake Village Oaks Christian in both teams' season opener.
"Man, we really needed that field goal," holder Vernon Adams said of Meza, who also kicked a 47-yarder on the final play of the first half. "He stepped up big-time."
Adams also had a few big moments, the senior quarterback completing 11 of 19 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown and rushing for another score to help the Warriors, ranked No. 23 in the Southland by The Times, hand the No. 11 Lions their first regular-season defeat since a 25-20 loss to Oak Park on Oct. 19, 2007.
Alemany's defense stuffed running back Carlos Mendoza for no gain on a fourth-and-one with 3:48 remaining, giving the ball back to the Warriors at their own 22-yard line. After Kyron DeFour broke off a 32-yard run into Oaks Christian territory, Alemany faced fourth and two at the Lions' 14, and was able to draw an offsides penalty.
Three plays later, Meza kicked the winning field goal.
"It means so much to me," Adams said of beating Oaks Christian on its home field after losing to the Lions last season. "Last year at this time I was the most nervous kid on the planet. I was so excited to play this team, and I'm happy we got the 'W.'"
Quarterback Trevor Gretzky completed 15 of 21 passes for 184 yards for Oaks Christian, which had a 25-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter bounce off the left goal post.
Orange Lutheran holds off La Habra
Junior linebacker Tanner Ford jarred the ball loose from La Habra backup quarterback Matt Yackey and recovered the fumble at the Orange Lutheran 35-yard line with 19 seconds left to preserve the host Lancers' 21-17 victory at Glover Stadium in Anaheim.
Despite a strong first half by starting quarterback Mike Markovsky, Orange Lutheran switched to junior Clark Livingston on the Lancers' first drive of the third quarter and he engineered a 13-play, 62-yard drive, ended by Jabari Wilson's one-yard dive that gave Orange Lutheran, ranked No. 21 by The Times, a 21-10 lead with 4:34 left in the third quarter.
Washington State-bound quarterback Cody Clements completed 21 of 29 passes for 252 yards, including a two-yard pass to Mark Yackey that pulled the 18th-ranked Highlanders to within 21-17 with 11:02 left.
Crenshaw loses, 17-12
Los Angeles Crenshaw star running back De'Anthony Thomas scored two touchdowns before leaving the game early in the second half suffering from cramps and dehydration as the defending City Section champions fell, 17-12, to host Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett (3-0) in an intersectional matchup.
Thomas rushed for 113 yards in five carries for the No. 10 Cougars (0-1) in the first quarter, scoring the game's first touchdown on a 49-yard run.
Shaquille Richard rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown, and Conner Preston passed for 272 yards and three touchdowns as No. 8 Gardena Serra defeated Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 34-7. Serra had 522 total yards…Harry Welch, the only coach to win two state division bowl titles with different teams, won in his debut for Santa Margarita, 56-0 over Diamond Ranch…Teondray Caldwell from Venice scored all seven of his team's touchdowns and rushed for 291 yards in Venice's 47-16 victory over North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake.