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Citrus surprises Vaqueros, 31-15

Josh Evans accounted for both Vaquero TDs in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard pass and a 14-yard run. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Josh Evans accounted for both Vaquero TDs in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard pass and a 14-yard run. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Citrus built a 31-0 lead after three quarters on Saturday night, then survived an SBCC rally to secure a 31-15 football win in Glendora.

The Owls (2-6, 1-2 American Pacific League) snapped a four-game losing streak. Citrus has lost its six games by a total of 30 points.

The Vaqueros dropped their fourth straight and fell to 3-5 overall and 0-3 in conference. After averaging 51.7 points in a three-game win streak in September, the offense has averaged 11.3 during the four-game slide.

Quarterback Darreon Lockett paced the Citrus attack. He completed 9-of-14 passes for 130 yards and three first-half touchdowns. He also ran 10 times for 103 yards. Lockett was playing his third game at QB after starting the year as a wide receiver.

The Owls outgained the Vaqueros 374 to 184, including 244-70 on the ground.

Citrus drove 69 yards in nine plays for a touchdown on the first possession of the game. Lockett threw a 23-yard TD to Carson Bassett. Lockett made it 14-0 by tossing a 22-yard score to Mason Mesina-Rowe with three seconds left in the first quarter.

The Owls put together a 14-play, 69-yard drive and held the ball for 10:48 on their third TD drive. Lockett found Mesina-Rowe again for an 8-yard score that made it 21-0 at the half.

Chazz Eldridge intercepted Bradley Kleven on the first play of the third period and returned it 30 yards for a score that boosted the lead to 28-0.

Trailing 31-0 in the fourth quarter, Joshua Evans got the Vaqueros going on offense. The 6-3 freshman quarterback from Queens, N.Y. completed 5-10 passes for 72 yards and a TD. He also ran 11 times for 23 yards and a 14-yard TD.

Evans engineered a 46-yard march after RJ Thorne recovered a fourth-quarter fumble. Evans threw a 24-yard strike to Emmanuel Nwosu on the first play and gave SBCC its first TD with a 6-yard toss to Nwosu with 10:50 to play.

Citrus went three-and-out and the Vaqueros started on the Citrus 40 after an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Owls. Four plays later, the Vaqueros found the end zone on two straight 14-yard runs by Evans. Evans hit Cody Haines for the 2-point conversion and it was 31-15.

SBCC scored two TDs in 3:04 and got the ball right back when Citrus fumbled the kick return and Marshawn Davenport recovered at the Owls' 40. The Vaqueros couldn't get a first down, however, and Evans threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-13 from the 38.

Linebacker Chase Elliott had 14 tackles for the second straight game. Houston Little made nine tackles and Thorne recovered two fumbles.

Santa Barbara will play make its final home appearance on Saturday when it hosts L.A. Pierce at 1 p.m.