The 12th seeded Arleta Mustangs (9-2) were trailing by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, but came storming back against the 5th seeded Carson Colts (3-5) in the Division I first-round playoffs to advance with a 29-28 victory on Friday in Carson.
Arleta Head Coach Bill Coan described what it was like to win in the first round of the playoffs.
“It’s awesome, especially on the road. It was a tough game for both sides. Battled back and forth. It’s our first victory over Carson since our school started, so it’s nice. It’s nice that our kids competed. They never gave up from being behind to winning the game.”
Carson created what seemed to be a comfortable cushion when Jalen Jones ran the ball all the way to the house to put his team up 28-15 in the third quarter.
But this cushion soon dissipated.
Arleta’s senior Kelvin Duran scored on a touchdown run to cut the lead to six, 28-22.
Arleta was not going away that easy.
In the fourth quarter, Duran scored again to give his team their first lead 29-28 with 10:53 minutes remaining in the game.
In a quick turn of events, Arleta fumbled at the 7:42 mark and Carson recovered.
Carson made a play with 3:52 minutes remaining.
The clock was ticking.
Carson threw a pass in the endzone but couldn’t connect.
Arleta shut them down defensively when it mattered most.
“We tried our best,” said Coach Coan. “We had a couple of mistakes. We had a couple of fumbles. But our defense picked it up. We played extremely great football in the second half.”
Arleta was on an 8-game winning streak coming into the playoffs, was 6-0 in league and finished 1st in the East Valley league.
“We’re going to enjoy this one for a little bit and on the weekend study more film,” said Coach Coan.
Arleta faces Canoga Park in the playoff second round next Friday, November 12th.