May 17, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Aliso Niguel wins a thriller in the final seconds over Sunny Hills 36-35

8/30/19: Aliso Niguel players and coaches celebrate last-second win over Sunny Hills. (Photo courtesy Jim McCormack, for OC Sports Zone)

Aliso Niguel players and coaches celebrate last-second win over Sunny Hills. (Photos courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone)

It was reasonable to assume that Friday night’s non-league football game between Aliso Niguel and Sunny Hills would be much like last year’s one-point close encounter. 

And it was.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

Wolverines’ quarterback Kyle Kyckelhahn threw a 23-yard pass to Caleb Peterson for a TD as time expired and then threw a 2-point conversion pass to Colby Routh to give Aliso Niguel, ranked 6th in the CIF’s Division 8, a 36-35 victory over the division’s No. 2 team, Sunny Hills in Buena Park’s new football stadium.

The decisive score was a repeat of much of the evening’s exploits for Kyckelhahn, who scrambled for critical yardage and passed for five touchdowns.

On the toss to Peterson, Kyckelhahn dodged several defenders before lofting a pass into the end zone that was intended for a well-defended Aliso receiver, but the ever-aggressive Peterson cut in front of everyone to collect his third TD catch of the evening. The 2-point conversion was a replay, virtually, of the TD, with Kyckelhahn scrambling until he found the open Routh.

Sunny Hills, playing its first game of the season (Aliso is 2-0) took a 35-28 lead with 2:32 remaining when Cal Wilson caught his second TD pass of the night, a 25-yarder from Luke Duxbury.

The Lancers appeared to have things in hand, for a moment, when they scored twice in the third quarter to take a 28-14 lead. Vince Silva scored both TDs, going 75 yards one play after Carson Irons recovered a Wolverines fumble, and later scoring from 13 yards out.

Any sense that Aliso Niguel was out of the contest lasted only momentarily with Peterson catching an 81-yard pass from Kykelhahn and scoring 19 seconds later. Peterson scored again with 25 seconds to play in the third leaping for a 34-yard pass from Kykelhahn on 4th-and-9.

The Lancers had blocked Aliso’s PAT on an earlier TD so, of course, Kykelhahn ran for the 2-point conversion tying the score at 28 and setting the scene for a very dramatic fourth quarter.

 Sam Carducci caught Kykelhahn’s first TD pass, of 21 yards for the game’s first score, and Sunny Hills countered on a 4-yard run by Jun Ahu.

– Courtesy Jim McCormack, for OC Sports Zone