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Football: Solano leads San Fernando past Sylmar, 28-21

October 04, 2013|By Steve Galluzzo
  • San Fernando High players celebrate after defeating Sylmar on Friday night.
San Fernando High players celebrate after defeating Sylmar on Friday night. (Steve Galluzzo / For The…)

San Fernando has beaten Sylmar 28-21 in a key Valley Mission League showdown and has taken over neighborhood bragging rights -- for now, anyway.

Quarterback Cristian Solano entered the game having thrown for over 1,500 yards but it was his legs that carried the Tigers to victory. Solano rushed for all four of San Fernando's touchdowns, including a seven-yard scamper for the go-ahead score with 5:21 left, and he added a two-point conversion for good measure.

Sylmar had one last chance to tie the game and force overtime, but at the last instant defensive back Ronal Munoz tipped the ball away from wide receiver Anthony Muse on third down and quarterback Clarence Williams threw incomplete to Muse on fourth down from the Sylmar 36-yard line with 1:35 remaining.

The victory not only kept San Fernando (6-0) in the driver's seat in the Valley Mission League, but Solano and his teammates left with the Victory Cup, a silver trophy that the winner of the annual rivalry game gets to keep on campus for a year.

"This was a huge respect game... and we earned it tonight," said Solano, who was sacked nine times but completed 11 of 29 passes for 194 yards with two interceptions. "They matched up with us but I think we have better receivers. I was gonna do whatever it took to get it done -- on my feet or in the air."

Williams completed 12 of 24 attempts for 174 yards and two touchdowns to Muse, the second an 83-yard hookup that pulled the Spartans (2-3) back even, 21-21, in the third quarter. Daniel Mendoza had seven catches for 60 yards and Shontee Smith rushed for 73 yards in 13 carries for Sylmar.

Jose Camargo had four receptions for 50 yards and Munoz added three catches for 86 yards for the Tigers. 

"Penalties killed us in the first half and it was just a matter of limiting our mistakes and executing like I know we can," San Fernando Coach Robert Garcia said. "I'm not sure if we'll see them again [in the City Division II playoffs], but it's always like a playoff game with them." 

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