ROSEVILLE — Le Grand stars Tony Ortegon and Bob Perez helped their team turn in a dominating first half in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 title game on Saturday night, but could only watch helplessly from the sideline as Capital Christian rallied in the second half for a 35-27 victory.
"When you have guys like Tony Ortegon, Bob Perez and Alex Martinez not be able to play for large parts of the game, you're going to struggle," Le Grand coach Rick Martinez said.
With Capital Christian (9-3) leading 7-0, Ignacio Guerra intercepted a pass at the CC 25. Perez tied up the game three plays later with a 2-yard burst up the middle.
Then, with just over 5 minutes to play in the half, LG recovered a fumble at the Capital Christian 13. Ortegon scored from 13 yards to make it 14-7.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
Le Grand doubled its lead with just over a minute to play in in the half when Abraham Yanez hit Raul Garcia on a 25-yard scoring strike.
Le Grand outgained CC 216 yards to 105 in the first half and was the more physical team heading in to intermission, but Martinez was forced out midway through the second quarter with an ankle injury and Perez began cramping at the end of the first half.
Ortegon (22 carries, 156 yards) injured his ankle in the second half and wouldn't return, and Perez finally succumbed to his cramps.
Cashing in on its advantage, CC scored on its next two possessions to cap a 28-0 run for a 35-21 lead with 2:25 to play.