SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A week after seeing its lead slip away in the CCS title game, Wilcox refused to go down in the same fashion against previously unbeaten Capital Christian on Saturday night in the CIF 3-A North regional, holding off the Cougars for a thrilling 34-30 victory.
Five plays after an interception by Paul M Rosa, the Chargers built a 34-24 lead when Alex Adame connected with Nick Malvini for a 15-yard score with 5:44 left in the game. But Wilcox could not keep Trey Jones out of the end zone, this time on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Cooper Crick, which cut the lead to four points. Then came potential disaster, in the form of a lost fumble for Wilcox with 2:21 left in the game and the ball in Chargers' territory. But unlike the previous week, this time the Wilcox defense played like it had all season and kept Capital Christian from reaching the end zone.
A sack from Alejandro Brizuela was followed by another from Isaiah Flores and Tyler Rowland on fourth-and-long, which sealed the victory for Wilcox and a first-ever trip to a CIF final.
Capital Christian led early on a field goal by Kenyon Bower, but Ryan Cooper, Jr. returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a score and an early 7-3 lead. The Chargers later led 21-17 at the half, and pushed the lead to 11 points when Adame and Cooper connected for a 45-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter.
Wilcox controlled the line of scrimmage offensively, rushing for 275 yards as a team. Adame ran for 119 yards on 12 carries, while Rosa added 94 yards and two scores on the ground. Gabe Herrera carried the ball 16 times for 62 yards. Adame completed 2-of-5 passes in the game, with both completions going for touchdowns.
Capital Christian got another strong performance from senior back D'Marcus Ross, who had 136 yards on the ground to go with five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Jones had five catches for 200 yards and three scores, including the last two touchdowns of the night for the Cougars.
With the win, Wilcox will face Kaiser-Fontana in the CIF 3-A bowl championship game, to be played on Saturday, 6 pm at Wilcox.