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Vista Murrieta Broncos Seal Division Title With 35-28 Win

First time champs!

The crowd chanted, "I believe we will win, I believe we will win!"

With more than 7,000 in attendance Friday night at Bronco Stadium for the CIF Southern Section Inland Division Championship Game, Vista Murrieta was four minutes away from another title game loss against six-time defending champions, Corona Centennial High School.

Trailing for the first time in the game by a score of 27-28, junior quarterback Nick Stevens took his team on a game-winning drive.

With 34 seconds on the clock, Coach Coley Candaele called a quarterback draw to get field-goal kicker Tyler Rausa a little closer, hoping for a game-winning field goal.

Stevens faked a hand-off to the running back with 26 seconds left. Instead, he ran the ball himself for a 30-yard touchdown. He then executed a two-point conversion, sealing a 35-28 victory for the Broncos in their first CIF championship in school history.

"I was setting up for a pass but I saw a lot of green and ran as if my life depended on it," Stevens said.

For the night, Stevens brought 109 passing yards and 97 rushing yards for three touchdowns.

Junior wide receiver Su'a Cravens, who pulled off a two-touchdown game with 32 rushing yards and 16 receiving yards, was speechless following the game.

"All I can say is it was a great game," Cravens said.

"We weren't going to lose this three times in a row," Cravens told reporters.

"I want to cry right now," he said.

Defensive back and wide receiver Darion Williams, who came through with an interception, receiving touchdown, punt block and sack, was reluctant to take all the glory.

That's why he told reporters he wanted Nicholas Chase to take the pass on the Broncos' two-point conversion attempt.

"I just didn't want me to have all the glory. I wanted to share it and Nick did it," Williams said.

"I was amazed when Nick (Stevens) did that," Williams added, about Stevens' game-saving run. "He took it into his own hands. He played like a senior."

"(We are) a force to be reckoned with."

Candaele beamed like a proud father.

"What a relief," Candaele said to Fox Sports broadcasters about the game that was televised across Southern California.

"After being here three times and then finally getting one, it is a relief...there was some doubt there at the end, so we are really happy," Candaele said.

As to whether the Broncos have a chance at being selected to play in the CIF state bowl game, Candaele said: "We are 14-0 on the field and these kids have no control over that. They deserve what they deserve."

Broncos' record shows 9-5 after

The bowl game teams are expected to be announced Sunday.

Check back for more photos and a full game recap.

Donna December 10, 2011 at 09:14 AM
GREAT GAME.. We were on the edge of are seats watching it on t.v... WE knew u could do it and show CENTENNIAL that u are WINNER'S.. #1 what a game.. as they text last Friday on ch. 5 VISTA who.. Guess you showed them. Good Job..
CSP December 12, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Both teams played a great game, but as a CHS parent and Temecula Valley resident I was really glad to see VM take the CIF championship. A great win. My only true disappointment of the evenin gwas to see Darion Williams of Vista Murrieta raise a finger, (the wrong finger) to the camera and mouth the words F--- them! Totally uncalled for after such a quality performance. I, for one am hopeful the VM administration takes appropriate action based on their past demands for other schools to act within appropriate guidelines for high school sports. In the end...overall great performance by VM athletics. Great win! Congratulations!
Mrs G December 12, 2011 at 07:14 PM
I agree that behavior is unsportsman like and does not fit with VMHS's motto of CLASS. The administration is on it; what the tv did not show though was Centennial HS players coming on to the field shouting the same at Vista's cheerleaders with one of the larger Centennial players literally shoving a VM cheerleader. I hope that Centennial's administration will take appropriate response as well. It is truly sad that the intensity needs to come out in such a manner. Equally sad is how VM was robbed of the opportunity to compete at the state level despiting having the character to report a clerical error that was not their fault. All that the CIF has done is denied a group of young men a once in a lifetime opportunity, all because they did nothing wrong. It is no wonder our society as a whole (especially our youth) feels like it is not worth it to do the right thing.
Mrs G December 13, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Just to clarify and set all minds at ease; what was "seen" at the end of the game, was Darion saying, "a F*%^ing ring!" as he embraced his team mates. Very close-up, enlarged stills have been reviewed as well as a tape of the moment and the players have been interviewed. While his word choice may not have been steller, he did not at any time show any poor character or sportsmanship. I have not seen any report from Centennial as to investigations on their players shoving the VMHS cheerleaders or saying FU to the girls however.
Donna December 14, 2011 at 04:41 AM
well Im glad that was cleared up.. As when one is happy about there WIN and not thinking what they were saying on camera.. Hopefully they can get the report on what was going on with the cheerleaders as that was really on called for and hopefully coaches also said something to that young man that it wasnt right what he had done by pushing the young lady down.Guess he wasnt much of a gentleman and thats to bad..

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