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Noah Sega(26) has the ball stripped away as turnovers proved costly in the Wildcat loss to Lincoln Friday night

Late Turnover Spoils Home Opener for El Camino Wildcats

By Thomas Gutierrez

Oceanside CA— With a ruckus and sold out home field crowd, passion and energy filled the air at El Camino High School’s Herb Meyer stadium. Not even an over abundance of penalty flags or turnovers could diminish the passion in the stands and competition on the field between the two long time legendary San Diego programs of El Camino and Lincoln High School.

The Lincoln Hornets known for an explosive offense let their defense set the tone in the first half as they held the Wildcats to only two points, to take a 14-2 halftime lead.

El Camino workhorse, Zion Jackson(32) breaks through the Hornet defensive line

And even though the Wildcats outscored the Hornets 22-12 in the second half, in the end the Lincoln Hornets outlasted the El Camino Wildcats to snatch a breathtaking 26-24 victory in the last moments of the game.

The Wildcat defense scored their only 2 points (safety) in the 1st half by forcing one of Lincoln’s three rotating Hornet quarterbacks, Chris Davila, into an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone.

The Hornets utilized their great combination of QB Tyler Jenson and WR standout Key’shawn Smith as Smith out jumped the Wildcat defenders for a 33-yard touchdown catch, putting the score at 7-2.

Later in the half after a spectacular 30 yard fly sweep run by slot-receiver Benji O’Brien, Jenson who threw for 123 yards, added 7 more points with a 3-yard scamper into the end zone, and with that, the Hornets ended the half with a 14-2 advantage over the Wildcats.

After Wildcat defensive linemen Isaac Tinosamoa scooped up a Davila fumble and took it into the red-zone, four plays later quarterback Joey Armentrout punched it in for a TD that was capped off by a 2-point conversion closing the gap to 10-14 at the beginning of the 2nd half.

Wildcat QB Joe Armentrout gets wrapped up by Hornet defenders

Shortly after, Lincoln countered the Wildcat score with one of their own as Kenneth Stevenson who collected 68 yards rushing, scored a touchdown (missed extra point) that increased the score to 20-10.

The 4th quarter saw Armentrout hit Jacob Gathright for a 25 yard touchdown connection closing the gap to 20-17.

With 5 minutes left in the game, Wildcat star running back Zion Jackson (who rushed for 148 yds) who was playing on all cylinders, broke open for a spectacular 30-yard touchdown putting the Wildcats up 24-20.

And after a Gathright interception, the Wildcats regained the ball once again. Holding a 24-20 lead in the waning minutes of the game, an alert Hornet defender,Curon Brown-Dunn, picked up an apparent botched handoff exchange and took it 77 yards to the house to recapture the lead and defeat the Wildcats 26-24 in one of the most exciting games of the young season.

The El Camino Wildcats (1-1) next game is a home game on Sept 13 as they face La Costa Canyon while the Lincoln Hornets (2-0) host Eastlake on Sept 6.

In other match-ups:

Oceanside got their first win of the season on the road over Westview, 26-6.

Carlsbad defeated Millikan H.S. of Long Beach 52-7

La Costa Canyon defeated Vista in overtime 24-23

RBV fell at home to Monte Vista 28-14

Fallbrook lost at Sweetwater 35-3

Mission Hills defeated Westlake 25-21

San Marcos over Mira Mesa 38-7

And San Clemente continued their winning ways over San Diego County schools defeating Torrey Pines 31-7