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Sierra wins cross-town classic
Alofaituli, Vicente cap comeback in overtime against EU
FB--East Union-Sierra pic 1
Sierra running back Seuseu Alofaituli scoots past Daniel Reed (11) and the rest of the East Union defense for key touchdown in overtime that helped vault the Timberwolves to a thrilling 37-36 victory at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium. - photo by Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER

Give it to the big guy.
Down by 15 points to visiting East Union with nine minutes remaining Friday’s homecoming game for Sierra, quarterback Mark Vicente had to do what he has done so often, although this time it looked very bleak.
So with Vicente steering the comeback bus, when it came time to find the end zone he put it in the hands of Seuseu Alofaituli.
The bruising 5-foot-6, 186-pound senior bulled in two touchdown runs in the final six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter and another in overtime. Vicente finished it off, spotting Jesse Babauta for the game-winning two-point conversion to give the Timberwolves a heart-stopping 37-36 Valley Oak League win at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
“We had been through this before,” Vicente said. “So we know how to do this. On the last conversion coach wanted to run a whip – he takes a slant and goes to the outside – and we have been practicing that play for a long time. (Babauta) is really good at it and it worked.”
Alofaituli scored from 3 yards out with 6:32 remaining to draw the Timberwolves (1-1 VOL, 4-1 overall) within 29-21 following a point-after kick from Eriq Kurys, filling in for an injured Marcos Castillo.
After forcing the Lancers (1-1, 4-1) to punt, Sierra took over at its own 18-yard line with 3:23 remaining in the fourth period – the same place on the field the Timberwolves found themselves in the CIF State Division IV-A State Championship game last December against Chowchilla. But this time on what proved to be the game-tying drive, Vicente (21 of 28 passing, 213 yards, touchdown; 13 carries, 39 yards, touchdown) had to work a little less magic as East Union had two personal fouls and an encroachment penalty to yield 35 yards on the 82-yard drive.
Alofaituli bulled it in from the 2, and Vicente found Carlos Perez with a conversion pass to tie the game with 1:14 remaining and force overtime with the score at 29-29.
“They don’t know to say die.” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said. “It puts the exclamation point on it.”
With reference to Alofaituli at running back, Harbison said, “We put that in a couple of weeks ago just to have somebody that would have his head down and go forward and he (Alofaituli) made the right reads a couple of times tonight and good things came of it.”
East Union had the ball first in the extra period, and following tremendous stops by Alofaituli, Kurtis Parrish and Jordan Black the Lancers faced fourth down at the 20-yard line. Finding all his receivers covered, Lancers quarterback Jack Weaver did what he is famous for, scrambling the 20 yards for the go-ahead score before adding the point-after kick. 
Sierra needed just two plays to answer.
Vicente fired a 9-yard pass to Jesse Babauta to get to the 1, and after getting bottled up on second down Alofaituli took it around the left end following a flat-backing block by Jacob Peterson into the end zone to come within, 36-35. That set up Vicente’s second clutch conversion pass of the night.
“Unfortunately, we were on wrong end of a classic,” East Union coach Willie Herrera said. “We didn’t reach our goal tonight, but I think for a football fan this is what you expect for Friday nights.”
Nashon Tamiano, Brandon Arreola, Alofaituli, Castillo, were all injured in the first quarter for Sierra. Only Alofaituli returned to action.
“This game took a toll on us physically, that’s for sure,” Harbison said. “We were down three dudes and our kids didn’t quit – they never said die. They played to the whistle.”
Weaver was spectacular in the loss, completing eight of 14 passes for 109 yards with touchdown throws of 16 and 27 yards to Jake Harries (five catches, 75 yards) and 20 carries for 125 yards with the overtime touchdown run.
“It was an awesome atmosphere,” Weaver said. “You couldn’t have asked for anything more.
“We just have to fix a few little things so we can get those next couple of wins so we can get ourselves to the postseason.”