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Le Grand finish: Ortegon, Perez help move LG into second round of playoffs with overtime victory

LE GRAND -- Tony Ortegon shot through the hole, broke one tackle and bounced off another.

The Le Grand junior regained his footing, glanced up and saw paydirt -- high-stepping the last five yards for the score.

Chaos ensued.

The Le Grand players, coaches and crowd converged on Ortegon as LG survived the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs with a 21-15 overtime victory over Sacramento Capital Christian.

Le Grand (7-4) will travel to Marysville next week.

"I just tried to hit the hole as fast as I could," Ortegon said. "I hit a couple guys and just kept moving my legs.

"Once I got in, I turned around and my entire team was running towards me.

"It was a great feeling."

The victory was made all the sweeter because the game almost never got to overtime.

Le Grand coach Rick Martinez rolled the dice on a third-and-8 from the Le Grand 4-yard line with just over a minute and a half to play.

The move backfired.

Quarterback Martin Alverez's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by CC's Drew Reid.

A facemask penalty gave Capital Christian a first-and-goal from the Le Grand 1-yard line with 1:36 to play.

Just as Le Grand's season seemed on the verge of being over, the defense brought it back from the brink.

"We knew they were going to try and sneak it, so we stuffed the middle and told the guys their season was on the line," Martinez said.

CC quarterback James Lee lost his grip on the football while searching for a hole on the QB sneak and Le Grand's Ignacio Guerra picked up the loose ball.

Most of the second half went Le Grand's way.

After being picked apart by Lee for 159 yards and a touchdown in the first half, LG kept CC's offense off of the field by pounding the ball on the ground.

Le Grand's 'thunder and lightning' combo of Ortegon (139 rushing yards and two touchdowns) and Bob Perez (68 yards) softened up the Capital Christian defense.

And the few times CC got its offense on the field, LG got interceptions from Dannon Graham and Perez in addition to the goal-line fumble recovery.

LG finally cashed in on its dominance when Perez hauled in a 14-yard TD catch from Alverez.

"After we threw that interception, I just prayed we'd get another chance," Perez said. "I'd missed the first six games of the season (because of injury) and coach just told me this was my time."

Martinez was right.

Perez intercepted Lee's first pass attempt in overtime, setting up Le Grand for the win.

"After the interception my legs started cramping," said Perez, who is also LG's kicker. "We didn't get anything on first down, but I didn't know if I'd be able to kick.

"Tony ran it in on the next play and my legs felt just fine."

Division VI Playoffs

LE GRAND 21

CAPITAL CHRISTIAN 15

At Le Grand

CAPITAL CHR. 0 15 0 0 0 -- 15

LE GRAND 7 0 0 8 6 -- 21

First Quarter

LG -- Tony Ortegon 58 run (Bob Perez kick)

Second Quarter

CC -- Cody Barsam 3 run (Barsam pass from James Lee)

CC -- Spencer Hagan 41 pass from Lee (T.J. Oates kick)

Fourth Quarter

LG -- Perez 14 pass from Martin Alverez (Ortegon run)

Overtime

LG -- Ortegon 10 run

Records: Capital Chriatian 5-6, Le Grand 7-4.

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