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Upland's gamble pays off in 43-42 overtime win over Corona Santiago

Upland Coach Tim Salter's decision to go for the two-point conversion pays off. Upland wins its third in a row after starting the season with two big losses.

September 28, 2013|Eric Sondheimer

Tim Salter has been known to play the ponies on occasion looking for a little luck, so it came as no surprise the veteran Upland coach decided to gamble and go for two points and a victory during overtime Friday night against Corona Santiago.

When quarterback Tyler Hilinski made a successful two-point conversion pass to Trevor Wright, Upland was able to pull out a 43-42 victory, its third in a row since starting the season being pummeled by Santa Ana Mater Dei and Westlake Village Oaks Christian.

"It was an exciting win for the kids," Salter said. "We ran a play that we worked on every week in practice and executed it."

Hilinski passed for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Wright caught nine passes for 145 yards.

Upland, a top-15 team in preseason, is getting better after its horrendous start.

"I think we're gaining a little confidence," Salter said. "There's just a handful of seniors playing. When you don't have varsity experience, it exposes a lot of things you have to work on. We almost went back to training camp. It was less game planning and more about fundamentals blocking and tackling."

Young gun

Ventura St. Bonaventure could have a quarterback controversy. Junior Ricky Town, an Alabama commit, has been sidelined the last three games with a hyper-extended knee, allowing sophomore Darius Vines to show what he can do. And he's pretty good.

In a 38-24 loss to Mission Hills Alemany, Vines passed for 295 yards. Junior receiver Lavon Alston, headed for big-time status, caught touchdown passes of 65 and 21 yards among his 235 yards receiving.

Alemany quarterback Alif Grayes completed 15 of 17 passes for 270 yards and ran for 111 yards to help the Warriors improve to 5-0.

Powerful Trinity League

Trinity League teams went 4-0 this weekend, making them 16-0 the last three weeks. Santa Ana Mater Dei (5-0), Orange Lutheran (5-0), Bellflower St. John Bosco (4-0) and San Juan Capistrano JSerra (4-0) are unbeaten.

All six teams are receiving outstanding quarterback play. Nick Robinson, a junior at JSerra, completed 12 of 18 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-12 win over Dana Hills.


Long Beach Poly's standout receiver-defensive back, John "JuJu" Smith, was injured against Long Beach Cabrillo after a collision and transported by ambulance to a hospital. He was released Friday night and should be fine, Coach Raul Lara said.

Cool sophomore

Matt Fink, a 6-foot-4 sophomore quarterback for Glendora, continues to make big plays and stay calm under pressure for the unbeaten Tartans (4-0). He scored the game-winning touchdown with just over three minutes left in a 13-9 win over Covina Charter Oak.

He had the game-winning touchdown pass in an overtime win over La Verne Bonita. He also guided the Tartans to an overtime win over Chino Hills Ayala.

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