Pruneda's last-minute touchdown leads Othello past Connell

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CONNELL — The Othello defense intercepted Connell quarterback Austin Smith three times and held the Eagles to just 23 yards rushing. Huskies quarterback Julian Pruneda scored on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter to lead the Othello comeback with 9-7 victory over 1A powerhouse Connell on Friday in a nonleague game.

The Eagles (0-1) had beaten the Huskies the year before, and sometimes it's good to take a page from the Al Davis songbook, and “Just win baby.” Smith, who was 9 of 17 for 87 yards found Payton Riner on a 4-yard scoring strike in the second quarter for the Eagles only score. Isaiah Perez led the Huskies ground game with 88 yards on 16 carries. Isaac Barragan rushed 10 times for 37 yards and Steven Ochoa added 36 yards with nine carries. “I think anytime we give it to any one guy and ask him to carry it a bunch of times, we’re not near as effective running the ball,” assistant coach Kevin Hensley said. “We need to be able to spread it around to get that balance we’re looking for.” The Huskies got on the board with a 26-yard field goal by Bernie Garza Jr. in the third quarter, but it wasn’t until Pruneda’s touchdown did they take their first and only lead of the game. Neither team had a particularly effective passing night. Pruneda was 3 of 10 for 42 yards and an interception. Efrain Palomares caught all three completions for 42 yards. Smith was 9 of 17 for 87 yards. He had the one touchdown to go with three interceptions. Elijah Roylance, Liddel Giles and Perez had the pass interceptions. Easton Roylance, AJ Veliz, Lashawne Bethea and Perez had quarterback sacks.

Othello   0 0 3 6 - 9 Connell 0 7 0 0 - 7

C - Payton Riner 4 pass from Austin Smith (kick good) O - 26 field goal (Bernie Garza Jr.) O - Julian Pruneda 1 run (kick failed)

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