May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Late field goal lifts Marina past Segerstrom 24-23 in league opener

Joseph Ingrao of Marina heads into the end zone following an interception return Friday. No. 11 is Gerardo Gonzalez. (Photos courtesy Mark Bausman/For OC Sports Zone)

Marina’s defense and special teams stepped up big Friday night, lifting the Vikings to a 24-23 victory over Segerstrom in the Big Four opener for both teams at Segerstrom.

Marina (3-5, 2-1) won the game when junior Luke Lastra kicked an 18-yard field goal with 1:18 remaining in the game. The Vikings were able to move to the 2-yard line, but opted for a field goal try on fourth down.

It turned out to be the right call.

Segerstrom got the ball back near midfield but Marina’s defense held as time ran out to cap the wild back and forth game.

“I didn’t know until the last second, I was really, really nervous,” said Lastra. “Good thing it was at the 10-yard line, I’ve been practicing this all week. There was a lot of pressure but I knew I could do it. I kick PATs a lot, I practice and I also play soccer so it does come in handy.”

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

Marina forced five turnovers and had interception returns for touchdowns by Joseph Ingrao (55 yards) and Lastra (37 yards). Ingrao also had a 30-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown following a blocked punt.

“Defense stepped up big tonight,” said Marina Coach Jeff Turley. “When you’re playing this style offense it’s hard to simulate in practice when you don’t run that type. We always kind of start off a little slow. But the kids did great. Joey (Ingrao) had a pick six and picked up a blocked punt. What a night for him.

“Special teams and defense stepped up big tonight, offense struggled a little bit tonight, we didn’t get things done we thought we would be able to do but like I told the kids, that’s how you win games when you have each other’s back.”

Segerstrom (2-6, 0-1) started out well when Moises Garcia kicked a 34-yard field goal in the first quarter and the Jaguars extended their lead to 10-0 on a 30-yard TD run by Alijah Sadler.

But Marina then turned in the two interceptions into scores to move ahead 14-10. Segerstrom regained the lead 17-14 on a 65-yard kickoff return by Sadler with 8:42 left in the third quarter. However, Ingrao’s return for a touchdown following a blocked punt put Marina ahead 21-17 late in the third quarter.

Segerstrom countered on a 12-yard touchdown run by Noble Acosta with 8:01 left in the fourth quarter put the Jaguars missed a two-point conversion and led 23-21 with 8:01 left.

On its final possession, Marina ate up a good amount of time before advancing the ball to the Segerstrom 2-yard line and setting up the game-winning field goal, which was Lastra’s first of his career.

“I’m proud of the way our kids fought all night,” said Segerstrom Coach Joseph Tagaloa. “We made some mistakes throughout the night but we were able to overcome them at times, which is a sign of resiliency that we talk about; you get knocked down you got to get back up and continue to compete and we did that tonight, unfortunately we just made one too many mistakes.

“All our guys played hard, we just didn’t execute as we would have liked in all facets of the game; we had some special teams mistakes and offensively we turned the ball over far too many times to beat a good team. Hats off to them, they played hard. Both teams played hard, I have nothing but respect for both teams.”

Quarterback Brock Beaver led Marina passing for 119 yards while Anthony Fabian rushed for 62 yards and had some key pick-ups on the game-winning drive. Aidan O’Callaghan also had three catches for 92 yards for the Vikings.

Quarterback Frankie Gonzalez passed for 175 yards but was intercepted three times. Sadler had six catches for 102 yards while Acosta rushed for 60 yards on nine carries for the Jaguars.

Segerstrom also lost the ball twice on fumbles.

–Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com