Dos Pueblos falls short against San Juan Hills

Leshon Bell of Dos Pueblos looks for running room against San Juan Hills. (Photo by Katie Issaris)

Leshon Bell of Dos Pueblos looks for running room against San Juan Hills. (Photo by Katie Issaris)

Leshon Bell ran for two touchdowns and passed for another, and Dos Pueblos hung tough against visiting San Juan Hills before coming up short, 26-23, in a non-league football game on Friday at Scott O’Leary Stadium.

The visiting Stallions (5-1) from San Juan Capistrano scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to pull out the win.

Dos Pueblos led 23-14 after Angel Davison caught a 16-yard pass from Bell and Daniel Buratto kicked the PAT at the 7:19 mark of the third quarter.

San Juan Hills responded with a 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jacob Gibson to Jordan Pape. The Chargers blocked the PAT kick, leaving them ahead 23-20 with 4:57 left in the third quarter.

San Juan Hill’s defense stiffened and held the Chargers scoreless the rest of the game.

The Stallions mounted a drive and scored the eventual winning TD on a 19-yard pass from Gibson to Matthew Mucerino.

Gibson completed 24-of-36 for 220 yards with one interception.

DP got a 38-yard field goal from Buratto to open the scoring in the first quarter. San Juan Hills came back with a pair of scores in the second period. The Stallions recovered a fumble at the 5-yard line and Brad Kremer scored on a 3-yard run.

Kremer shared the bulk of the carries with his senior counterpart Mike Miscione, they combined for a total of 206 yards on the ground.

Gibson threw a 21-yard pass from Gibson to Marco Cianciola.

The Chargers quickly answered with a 64 yard drive buoyed by the play Bell, who finished the drive on an 8-yard rushing touchdown with 30 seconds left in the second quarter. The PAT attempt was blocked, concluding the half with Chargers down 14-9.

The Chargers came out strong in the second half. A dazzling 39-yard rushing touchdown by Bell invigorated the Chargers and gave them the lead, 16-14. On the subsequent kickoff, senior defensive back Anthony Medina recovered a loose ball to put the Chargers in the red zone. A 16-yard screen pass from Bell to junior running Back Angel Davison capped off the short drive, putting the Chargers up 23-14.

“I felt really good about tonight’s game,” said Bell. “We knew that it was going to be a tough game and unfortunately they came out on top.”

The Stallions quarterback Jacob Gibson connected with senior tight end Jordan Pape for a 37-yard touchdown with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. The PAT was blocked by senior defensive linemen Micah Ruiz to keep the Chargers a field goal up, 23-20.

San Juan Hill, however, was able score again with 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter on a 19-yard passing touchdown from Gibson to senior receiver Matthew Mucerino, putting it ahead 27-23.

“We’re taking a lot of positives out of tonight,” DP coach Nate Mendoza said. “We feel like our guys battled really hard. We get 5 starters back on Monday… Everybody stayed healthy tonight… We got a lot of things to look forward to.”

Dos Pueblos’ first league game is next Friday against Santa Barbara.

“We’re feeling really good about league.” added Bell. “We think we have the heart, talent, and team chemistry. Hopefully we can put all those together and come out with four wins in channel league and bring home the title for back-to-back seasons.”