Ayala High receiver Andrew Aguilar told his head coach “that was the best route I’ve ever run in my life.”
Aguilar caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cole McCain on a fourth-and-goal with 0.7 seconds left in the game, and after a Chino Hills High offsides penalty on the extra-point attempt, the Bulldogs went for two points and handing the ball off to running back Jacob Badawi who went untouched into the endzone, giving Ayala a 29-28 victory in front of nearly 5,000 people in the 16th Battle for the Bone game.
The victory gave Ayala its first back-to-back wins over the Huskies since the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
“It came down to us making a play at the end,” said fourth-year Ayala High head coach AJ Gracia. “When it came down to the game-winning touchdown, I knew we would go to Aguilar. He’s a two-way player and I don’t think he left the field tonight.”
Trailing 28-21 with three minutes left in the game, Ayala used several run plays to advance the ball to the Huskies’ 8-yard line.
On a fourth-and-goal play from the 8-yard line down, McCain found a wide-open Aguilar in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown, cutting Chino Hills’ lead to 28-27. The Bulldogs decided to tie the game on the extra-point attempt, but a Huskies’ player jumped offsides. That put the ball at the 1-yard line.
Coach Gracia decided quickly to get his offense on the field for the two-point conversion.
His decision paid off as Badawi went untouched into the endzone.
Chino Hills had one last attempt on a hail-Mary pass, but the ball wasn’t caught, giving Ayala the win.
McCain, the Bulldogs’ four-year starter at quarterback, tossed a touchdown pass, ran in a score and intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter while playing safety.
Chino Hills High starting quarterback Matthew Geeting threw three touchdown passes, including two to receiver James Murillo.
Geeting finished 20 for 33 passing for 287 yards and had a passer rating of 106.5.
Chino Hills High hosted Diamond Ranch High Friday after Champion press time. Ayala, which had a bye week Friday, will host Diamond Ranch on Friday, Sept. 6.