Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Aliso Niguel's epic comeback
Never say never. As in, never say you can't come back from a 28-point deficit with only one quarter remaining. That's the prospect that faced Aliso Niguel -- playing in its homecoming game and having already lost part of the crowd -- as it entered the fourth quarter against Capistrano Valley.
Yet those final 12 minutes ought to become mandatory viewing for all future Wolverines -- and players at other schools too -- as a primer on the art of perseverance.
The Wolverines had not been a factor, and to shake things up, they made a change at quarterback and went to the two-minute drill. Turned out that it shook up Capo Valley.
Nathan Cole passed for four touchdowns -- of 61, 2, 23 and 2 yards, all but the third to running back Ryan Walker -- and a two-point conversion to Matt Molnar, in a 29-28 Sea View League victory. The third touchdown was to Molnar.
Cole completed 13 of 21 passes for 218 yards -- again, in the quarter.
Actually, Cole and the Wolverines might have been too efficient. Although they scored the decisive points, they left 41 seconds on the scoreboard, and that allowed Capo Valley to drive and get off a last-second field-goal attempt. However, Mike Burmudez missed a 28-yard kick as the clock ran out.
Aliso (5-1, 1-0) stole one from the stunned Cougars (1-6, 0-1).
Actually, it wasn't just that Aliso trailed 28-0 going into the fourth quarter, it trailed 28-7 with less than three minutes to play. The Wolverines recovered two onside kicks.
Perhaps most impressive about the comeback was the shift in momentum. Capo Valley had scored twice in the last 40 seconds of the third quarter on touchdown passes by Mason Dossey to seemingly put the game away.
But Aliso rallied. It scored with 10:56 left in the game, as well as at 2:27, 1:33, and 41 seconds.
On Friday, Aliso Niguel plays a huge Sea View League game against El Toro (6-1, 1-0) at Trabuco Hills HS.