In OT, Hemet edges past West Valley in a thriller

BY ALLAN STEELE

   STAFF WRITER asteele@pe.com 
   HEMET— There have been some thrilling games in the Hemet vs. Hemet West Valley rivalry, but Friday’s definitely made the list for top finish.

   Hemet held off the Mustangs 42-41 in overtime as West Valley faked a potential game-tying extra point and went for the game-winner instead. But Mike Cordova’s pass fell incomplete and the Bulldogs celebrated on the sidelines.

   The win snapped a threegame losing streak for Hemet (3-5, 1-1 Mountain Pass) and provided enough fourthquarter drama that only adds to the rivalry.

   The game was tied 21-21entering the fourth quarter, but after a sluggish first half, both offenses opened up.

   Hemet pounded the ball behind Jeffrey Martin, who finished with 215 yards on 36 carries. He also had three
touchdowns, but it was a fortuitous bounce that helped turn the game when Chad Norton picked up a fumble and ran it in for a 35-yard score to put the Bulldogs up 35-28 with 2:04.

   That lead didn’t hold as the Mustangs (2-5, 1-1) drove down field and tied it up with 27 seconds left when Cordova connected with Devin Ray.

   Both teams scored on their first possessions in the extra period, but when West Valley lined up for the extra point, the Bulldogs called a timeout.

   West Valley eventually faked the kick, with Cordova coming up from the holder spot and trying to find a receiver in the end zone.

   The gives Hemet its first league victory since 2011 and keeps the Bulldogs out of the league cellar.

   Hemet ran the ball well, with quarterback Justice Judge finishing with 89 rushing yards and Boyd Beach added 91.

   As expected, West Valley put the ball in the air with Cordova finishing 13 of 35 for 254 yards. Elijah Brown caught four touchdowns and finished with 116 yards.
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