TEMECULA — Forgive Chaparral if it didn’t look at Week 0 like a preseason game. After all, the Pumas were trounced 35 points by Rancho Cucamonga in a game in which nothing went right.
Since then, the Pumas have been rolling. They followed up a 108-14 margin the next two weeks with an impressive showing Friday, this time taking down visiting Redlands, 24-13, to run their win streak to three.
“We should have been up 35-7 at the half,” Chaparral head coach Jeremy McCullough said. “It gave us a good chance to battle through adversity and overcome some things. We kept playing and we found a way to get a win.”
The Pumas (3-1) had several chances to score in the first half, only to get turned away by key penalties. They did manage an early 14-0 lead on freshman quarterback Trilian Harris’ 67-yard touchdown strike to Orlando Ornelas on the game’s third play followed by Elgin Vasquez’s first of two power touchdown runs up the middle.
Redlands senior quarterback Chris Aguilar tossed the first of his two touchdowns to cut the lead to 14-7 in the second quarter, the first a 21-yard strike to Isaiah Meyers. He later connected with Zachary Burrola on a 23-yard rollout in the third quarter, but the Pumas special teams came up huge when Toby Ramirez broke through the line to block the extra point try.
The teams combined for 37 penalties in a game filled with sloppiness and physical play, including an ejection.
“Hopefully (the physical play) gets us ready for league play” Redlands head coach Derrick Dial said. “Against good teams like Chaparral, you can’t turn the ball over late in the game, especially in your own territory. That killed us.”
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