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Rockets fall again late in 4th quarter

September 10, 2016 • Local Sports

Goddard lost another game in which it led for 47 minutes Friday night, as Carlsbad scored a game-winning touchdown with under a minute to play on homecoming night for the Cavemen.
In a game that eerily resembled the Rockets’ 31-28 loss to Piedra Vista last week, Goddard simply couldn’t make the plays down the stretch when they mattered the most, as the Rockets saw a 27-19 lead with 6:58 in the fourth quarter turn into a 31-27 defeat.
Rocket quarterback Cameron Stevenson ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another, but it wasn’t enough as the Rockets dropped their second game in as many weeks.
Carlsbad received to start the game, beginning the opening drive at its own 40. The Cavemen used a methodical rushing attack to move their way down field one first down a time, and were also helped by a defensive penalty by the Rockets on 4th and inches at the Goddard 11 that gave Carlsbad a fresh set of downs just outside the Rockets’ 5.
After three more runs from Carlsbad, the Cavemen found themselves facing a fourth and goal at the 1-yard line, but Goddard’s defense stiffened up and kept Carlsbad out of the end zone to force a key turnover on downs with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Goddard tailback Devon Quiroz quickly [auth] moved the Rockets off their own goal line with a first down run on Goddard’s first offensive play of the night, but a hold on the second play brought the Rockets back inside their own ten for a 1st and 16.
Goddard ended up having to punt after missing on a couple deep shots to Diego Miranda and Carter Beene, and Carlsbad took over for their second drive of the night with great field position at the Rocket 45, with a little over three minutes left in the opening quarter.
A holding penalty on the first play of the drive moved the Cavemen back to their own 45-yard line, but quarterback Jonah Leyva connected with Waylon Mendoza on the next play to get right back into Goddard territory.
The Rocket defense held tough after that big gain though, and Carlsbad eventually elected to attempt to convert a 4th and 14 at the Rocket 33, but were unsuccessful when Miranda broke up the pass play.
Goddard took over with considerably better field position than it started with on the first drive, and Quiroz closed out the opening quarter with a long run to convert on 4th and 1 and set up the Rockets in Carlsbad territory for the first time.
Then, on the very first play of the second quarter, Rocket quarterback Cameron Stevenson found Miranda on a 38-yard touchdown strike to put Goddard up 7-0 with 11:54 remaining in the second.
Carlsbad took over for its third drive at its own 38, and again relied heavily on the rushing attack to move the ball across midfield. A big screen play moved Carlsbad down to the Rocket 30, and then Leyva found Gage Shoup on a big pass play all the way down to the Goddard 6.
The Cavemen punched the ball into the end zone for their first score on the next play on a sweep, but the score remained at 7-6 Goddard after the extra point was missed with 7:58 left in the first half.
Miranda set the Rockets up just shy of midfield after a good kick return, and Quiroz immediately moved Goddard into Carlsbad territory on the first play of the drive.
Stevenson picked up back-to-back first downs on a keeper play and a nice throw to Beene to move just outside the Cavemen red zone, and then used a 17-yard keeper to take it down to the Carlsbad 3.
An illegal procedure penalty brought Goddard back to the 8-yard line, but the Rockets eventually worked their way back to the goal line, facing a 4th and goal at the 1-yard line.
Stevenson kept it, jumped over the goal line and into the end zone to put the Rockets up 14-6 with 3:49 left in the half.
Neither team scored again in the half and the Rockets took their 14-6 lead into the intermission.
The Rockets started the first drive of the second half at their own 39, but the Cavemen were able to pick off an underthrown ball early in the drive to set themselves up at the Rocket 38.
However, the Cavemen gave it right back to the Rockets when Jonathan Miranda picked off Leyva on the first play of Carlsbad’s ensuing drive.
The Rockets took back over at their 21-yard line, and one play later Stevenson kept it and took it 79 yards to the house for his second rushing score of the game, which put Goddard up 21-6 with 9:47 remaining and ended a wild sequence of events.
Carlsbad started its next drive at midfield, and eventually used another big screen play to move all the way down inside the Rocket 10-yard line.
Three plays later, the Cavemen punched it in from the 1-yard line for their second touchdown of the game to close it back to within one score at 21-13 with 5:04 left in the third quarter.
Carlsbad picked up a little more momentum when Goddard’s next drive ended in another turnover as Stevenson was intercepted at the Carlsbad 33 with 1:26 remaining in the third.
Goddard’s defense held and forced a punt, but the Rockets couldn’t get anything going on offense either, and were forced to punt it back from inside their own 10-yard line.
But in shades of last’s week’s loss to Piedra Vista, the snap to the punter was bounced, and no kick was even able to be made as Carlsbad took over with fantastic field position at the Goddard 15.
Carlsbad scored its third touchdown of the night on a four-yard rush by Dominic Rodriguez to make it 21-19 with 9:14 remaining, where it stayed after Goddard stopped the two-point conversion.
Goddard started its next drive with field good position again, and determined not to drop a second straight game, Devon Quiroz quickly moved deep into Carlsbad territory with a 32-yard rush on a toss play.
Facing a 3rd down and 5 at the Carlsbad 12, Goddard fullback Jake Sartain powered it right up the middle and into the end zone as the Rockets pushed their lead back to 27-19, after a missed extra point, with 6:58 left in the game.
Back-to-back facemask penalties on the Rockets helped jump start Carlsbad’s next series, and then big a pass interference penalty kept the drive alive and moved the ball into Goddard’s red zone.
Carlsbad crossed the goal line again just three plays later to cut it to 27-25 with 4:20 left, but again the Goddard defense was able to keep the Cavemen out on the all-important two-point conversion.
The Rockets took over at their own 28 in another familiar scenario from a week ago, holding a slim lead with a chance to run out the clock against a tough 6A opponent.
And again, a worst case scenario occurred when the snap was fumbled and the ball was literally handed right back to Carlsbad.
Again penalties played a big role in helping the Cavemen offense, as a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct moved Carlsbad up to the Rocket 17, and then a facemask moved them up again to the 10 with under two minutes remaining.
Back-to-back false start penalties with under a minute put Carlsbad in a 3rd and goal situation from the 11, but the Cavemen converted on an 11-yard touchdown pass to the tight end Shoup, to take a 31-27 lead with just under a minute remaining.

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