RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA - Tied 23-23 with 11:20 remaining, thanks to a Sean Dollars one-yard touchdown run, Rancho Cucamonga needed a stop.
On the road in a hostile environment, Upland responded with poise and composure. Junior quarterback David Baldwin led his team from their own 35-yard line straight through the Cucamonga defense.
After converting on a flea flicker and screen pass, Upland advanced inside Rancho’s 15-yard line. One play later, senior wide out Leshaun Potts secured the game winning touchdown in the corner of the end zone, making it 30-23.
“I couldn't have done it without the big guys upfront, and as a team we really worked hard all week in practice and it showed tonight,” he said.
Immediately after Upland’s victory, several players charged midfield towards Rancho Cucamonga, and the teams nearly broke into a skirmish.
Head coach Tim Salter addressed his group after being awarded the Los Angeles Rams High School Coach of the Week Award, saying, “there's no reason to humiliate anyone out here, because we’ve been on both ends of it, right?” The team responded, “yes sir.”
In defeat, Rancho Cucamonga starting quarterback Nick Acosta finished with 262 yards through the air. “They just beat us, flat out, but we'll bounce back and this won't define our season,” he said.
After snatching a 30-23 lead, Upland’s defense supplied a string of key stops to seal victory.
Leading 16-7 in the second quarter, Rancho Cucamonga was in full control. In one play, however, everything changed. After going three and out, Cucamonga attempted a pooch kick.
Upland’s Justin Flowe blocked the kick, and returned it for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 16-14 with just over two minutes left in the first half.
To end the second quarter, Rancho Cucamonga came away with two three and outs, giving Upland a final chance to take the lead heading into halftime. Potts came through yet again for Upland, scoring inside the five to give his team a 20-16 lead heading into halftime.
Upland came into Friday night’s action as the best team in Division 2, and with the win over Division 1 Rancho Cucamonga, improves to 6-0.