SAN JACINTO – The San Jacinto football team were seconds away from heading to the locker room, one point behind on Saturday night
And then a gift landed in the hands of senior linebacker Shyne Shaw.
Redlands East Valley took the aggressive route with 27 seconds left in the first half, but the strategy backfired. Shaw intercepted a pass and returned the ball 25 yards for a touchdown to give San Jacinto the lead at halftime.
The touchdown was a game-changer as the Tigers scored 28 unanswered points en route to a 48-21 victory.
“We needed something to get the momentum back on our side,” said San Jacinto coach Aric Galliano. “This room did it.”
San Jacinto recovered a side kick to open the game, and the Tigers conceded a 19-yard quarterback by Dereun Dortch. REV fought back in practice that followed, as Izaiah Holley hit Laviel Pickett in stride for a 33-yard touchdown on the fourth down.
San Jacinto only needed two pieces to come up with its own answer. Dortch passed a pass to Foster Slaughter, who broke into the middle and fled for a 45-yard touchdown to help the Tigers take a 14-6 lead.
REV did not back down, however. Holley, a freshman, joined Pickett two more times in the second quarter – a 7-yard touchdown and a 2-yard touchdown – to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game.
Dortch helped San Jacinto cut the deficit to 21-20 when he dodged a sack and ran 8 yards for his second touchdown.
The Wildcats tried to increase their lead before half-time, but Shaw had different plans in getting in front of a pass from Holley.
“I was ready and hoped they would throw it my way,” Shaw said. “I’m happy to have given us this boost before half-time. ”
San Jacinto dominated the second half, edging the Wildcats 22-0. Dortch connected with receiver Dillon Gresham for 24- and 11-yard touchdowns, and Valencio Sims topped the scoring with a highlights touchdown run. Sims lacked real estate on the sidelines. He came to a quick stop and found himself on his heels around the 10-yard line, but Sims somehow kept his balance and finished the 27-yard run.
Dortch completed 10 of 19 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Dortch, a sophomore who transferred from Temecula Valley, said he enjoys leading the attack with his new team.
“We have so many playmakers, and I was trying to hit everyone tonight,” Dortch said.
REV coach Gavin Pachot was happy with his young team’s play, especially in the first half.
“We came down early, but they kept responding,” said Pachot, who was making his debut at the helm of the Wildcats. “I think we got a little tired in the second half. One thing we need to improve on is our tackle. ”
Holley completed 15 of 24 passes for 170 yards and also ran for 66 yards on 16 carries.
David Myers led San Jacinto’s rushed offense with 125 yards on just eight carries.