By DALE RUHE, Correspondent
ANAHEIM — Santiago needed the legs of running back Dylan Ourng, the arm of quarterback Angel Tajimaroa, and the foot of kicker Jose Alvarez to overcome a two-point deficit entering the fourth quarter and defeat Savanna, 38-29, in a nonleague football game Friday night at Glover Stadium.
Alvarez’s 24-yard field goal with 4:43 remaining in the game gave the Cavaliers (3-2) the lead for good. Tajimaroa, who tossed a pair of touchdown passes to De Mondray Purnell, added insurance with a 21-yard scoring run with six seconds left to play.
Savanna (3-2) did not have a chance to take a final run at the end zone, as Santiago successfully recovered an on-side kick before running the clock to zero.
In between, Ourng was a busy ballcarrier, gaining 206 yards on 31 carries and tallying the first two Cavaliers touchdowns.
Ourng’s first visit to the end zone was set up by an interception from Ulises Mendez near midfield. Ourng raced 25 yards and helped the Cavaliers briefly grab the lead.
The Rebels responded with an 80-yard, nine-play drive that covered of the final five minutes in the quarter. Ryley Smith made up for his interception with a 15-yard TD run, then caught the two-point conversion pass for an 8-7 advantage.
Ourng and Smith traded touchdown runs in the second quarter as the Rebels took a one-point lead into halftime. Smith’s third touchdown run, plus a 78-yard interception return for another score by Isaiah Blevins, pushed the Rebels into a 29-14 cushion with 8:27 remaining in the third quarter.
Tajimaroa, who didn’t complete a pass in the first half, recovered from his pick-off by connecting with Purnell for 58 yards and their first scoring connection. A fumble recovery by Trai Pham set up the second TD pass from Tajimaroa to Purcell, good for 24 yards with 17 seconds left in the period.