Royals fall to Rio Mesa in OT

Nathan Coffey kicks the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation past a diving block attempt by Rio Mesa's Jonathan Lenard.

Nathan Coffey kicks the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation past a diving block attempt by Rio Mesa’s Jonathan Lenard.


Nathan Coffey sent Friday night’s non-league game at San Marcos into overtime with a 39-yard field goal, but Rio Mesa remained composed and registered a 34-27 decision in the extra period.

It was a game that saw five second-half lead changes and 48 points scored in the third and fourth quarters after a first half where both teams scuffled on offense.

Rio Mesa quarterback Cameron Wrout accounted for three touchdowns, including a 56-yard scoring play to Stevie Houston and a 46-hard TD throw to Stephan Ingram. Isaiah Griffin took a handoff from Wrout and claimed the winning touchdown from half a yard out.

“It was a lot of fun. I mean the guys never gave up. We were down by a touchdown and never gave up,” said Rio Mesa quarterback Cameron Wrout.

Indeed, Rio Mesa fell behind 24-21 with 11:20 remaining in the fourth quarter. San Marcos, which trailed 6-0 at halftime, had scored 24 points in a 13-minute stretch to start the second half. Rio Mesa survived thanks to a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and another fumble recovery in overtime on a bungled snap inside the 5-yard line.

“Just too many mistakes,” said San Marcos head coach Anthony Linebaugh concerning his team’s performance.

The Royals came away with several bright spots, however, like seeing quarterback Sage Reid make his first start since injuring his knee last season. Junior D’shaun Vines caught a 54-yard touchdown and helped convert a crucial 4th-down-and-9 late in the fourth quarter that set up Coffey’s field-goal attempt.

Running back Ivan Reyes rushed for 115 yards on 18 carries and caught two passes for 24 yards.

San Marcos' Sage Reid, here evading the Rio Mesa pass rush, made his first start of the season on Friday.

San Marcos’ Sage Reid, here evading the Rio Mesa pass rush, made his first start of the season on Friday.

In overtime, Rio Mesa lost the coin flip and took possession first. After getting a touchdown on their first play erased by a penalty, Rio Mesa was still able to score despite getting backed up to the 41-yard line.

“We got the ball and just tried to score a touchdown,” Wrout explained. “We don’t worry about tails or heads or whatever coin flip we got. We just wanted to score and win the game.”

The Rio Mesa defense came up with several big plays, none more important than a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown by junior Jonathan Lenard. The defensive score came with the Royals driving into Rio Mesa territory and holding a 24-21 lead. Suddenly, the Spartans had taken a 27-24 advantage with 6:17 on the clock.

San Marcos took 10 plays on its next possession to move the ball to the edge of field-goal range. Coffey, who also plays nearly every defensive down as a linebacker, converted the 39-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in regulation.

“That young man, if there’s someone else who’s practicing as much as he is, I’d like to meet him,” Linebaugh said about Coffey. “In addition to playing linebacker, he works and works and works at his craft.

“I’m very happy for him because he’s working very hard.”

Coffey added a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter. His 46-yard attempt at the end of the first half had enough range but sailed wide left.

After Rio Mesa scored on its overtime possession, San Marcos advanced the ball all the way to the 3-yard line before coughing up a fumble that Rio Mesa’s Michael Kytlica recovered to end the game.

Rio Mesa, after a season-opening loss to Camarillo, improves to 1-1 on the season. Next up is Ventura.

“I think the thing I was most proud about with the team was the way they came back and they didn’t lose their composure,” said Rio Mesa head coach Jim Bittner. “They believed in themselves and they did everything they could to win the game.”

The Royals are off to an 0-2 start and travel to Pacifica (2-0) next Friday.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Wrout scored the winning touchdown in overtime.


Rio Mesa       0 6 15 6 (7) – 34
San Marcos 0 0 17 10 (0) – 27

RM (1:32) – Wrout 5-yard run; PAT blocked

SM (11:03) –  Reyes 3-yard run; PAT good

RM (10:14) – Wrout 56-yard pass to Houston; 2-pt conversion good

SM (8:40) – Reid 54-yard pass to Vines; PAT good

RM (7:25) – Wrout 46-yard pass to Ingram; PAT good

SM (0:03) – Coffey 22-yard FG

SM (11:20) – Reyes 4-yard run; PAT good

RM (6:17) – Lenard 70-yard fumble return, PAT blocked


RM – Griffin 1-yard run; PAT good

First downs              11       13
Rushes-Yards    20–81 48-246
Passing                  271    117
Comp-Att-Int    15–30-0   8-19-2
Punts                        6        4
Fumbles-Lost       2-1     5-2
Penalties-Yards  8 – 109 8 – 59

Rushing — Rio Mesa – Griffin 9-31, Wrout 7-24, Lee 2-22, Ingram 2-4. San Marcos – Reyes 18-115, Cortez 13-40, Reid 12-80, Estrada 2-1, Martinez 3-10.
Passing — Rio Mesa – Wrout 15–30-0-271, DP – Reid 8-19-2-117
Receiving— Rio Mesa – Houston 4-100, Ingram 2-67, Lee 4-34, Penny 2-59, Griffin 3-11. San Marcos – Vines 2-69, Reyes 2-24, Valdivia 1-6, Cortez 1-3, Martinez 1-3, #10 1-12

Records: Rio Mesa 1-1, 0-0; San Marcos 0-2, 0-0

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