Hoosier Homecoming hero?
Indiana Taylor, of course.
The Estancia High junior, filling in for injured tailback Christian Laurent, rushed for 214 yards and four touchdowns and added a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to lead the host Eagles to a 55-41 Orange Coast League football victory over Godinez.
Taylor, primarily sprinting around end and off-tackle, gashed the Grizzlies all night. His scoring kickoff return immediately followed a 92-yard return for a touchdown by Godinez that opened the second half.
And Taylor's final sprint, a 72-yard scoring burst on which he ran out of one tackle, finalized the scoring to clinch an explosive, back-and-forth game that the Eagles appeared to have control of at intermission.
After Godinez (3-5, 0-3 in league) drove 79 yards on 14 plays with its opening possession to take a 7-0 lead, the Eagles (3-5, 1-2) scored four touchdowns in 5:22 elapsed time on the clock. Before the Estancia run was over, it had 34 straight points in just less than 10 1/2 minutes to take a 34-7 halftime lead.
A short punt set up Estancia's first score, a 36-yard Taylor burst around right end.
After the Eagles recovered the ensuing pooch kickoff, sophomore quarterback Connor Brown threw to his brother, junior Jake Brown, for a seven-yard touchdown on fourth down that gave the hosts the lead for good with 10:22 left in the second quarter.
After Godinez went three-and-out on its next possession, Connor Brown capped a 26-yard scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge, and when Estancia recovered a fumble on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, freshman cornerback Dylan Laurent scooped up the loose ball and scored on a 40-yard return that made it 27-7 with 6:15 left in the first half.
Taylor capped the first-half blitz with a 25-yard run and Ivan Perez added one of his seven conversion kicks to cap the first-half scoring with 1:09 left.
Godinez scored twice more in the third quarter after the two dove-tail kickoff returns for touchdowns to climb within 41-28, before Taylor capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Once again, Godinez scored consecutive touchdowns to pull within 48-41 with 2:49 left.
But after Estancia's D.J. Davis called a fair catch on a high pooch kickoff, the Eagles needed just three plays to produce the capping touchdown.
It was another dizzying experience for the Godinez defense, which lost, 64-39, to Costa Mesa on Oct. 18.
In addition to his scoring runs, Taylor broke off gains of 22, 16, 14, 13 and 10 yards to help the Eagles' offense roll.
Connor Brown completed 11 of 22 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown, while junior receiver Devon Jackson had five catches for 101 yards.
Ronnie Urquiza recovered the pooch kickoff for Estancia that set up its second TD. Diego Herrera recovered another fumble to halt a Godinez drive and Dylan Laurent fell on a muffed punt reception to extend another Estancia possession.
The win kept the Eagles in the running for one of three guaranteed CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoff berths. With two games to play, the Eagles need wins over Saddleback and Calvary Chapel to keep its postseason hopes alive.
Estancia 55, Godinez 41
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Gdz 7 – 0 – 21 – 13 –41
Est 0 – 34 – 7 – 14 – 55
Gdz – Huizar 1 run (Romero kick), 4:24.
Est – Taylor 36 run (Perez kick), 11:37.
Est – J. Brown 7 pass from C. Brown (Perez kick), 10:22.
Est – C. Brown 1 run (pass failed), 6:37.
Est – D. Laurent 40 fumble return (Perez kick), 6:15.
Est – Taylor 25 run (Perez kick), 1:09.
Gdz – Leon 92 kickoff return (kick failed), 11:46.
Est – Taylor 90 kickoff return (Perez kick), 11:31.
Gdz – Jordan 1 run (Jordan run), 4:45.
Gdz – Trujillo 8 pass from Huizar (Romero kick), 1:10.
Est – Taylor 3 run (Perez kick), 9:48.
Gdz – Castro 68 pass from Huizar (run failed), 8:36.
Gdz – Huizar 1 run (Romero kick), 2:49.
Est –Taylor 72 run (Perez kick), 1:53.
Gdz – Jordan, 9-45. 1 TD.
Est – Taylor, 24-214, 4 TDs.
Gdz – Huizar, 10-14-0, 178, 2 TDs.
Est – C. Brown, 11-22-1, 168, 1 TD.
Gdz – Leon, 7-94.
Est – Jackson, 5-101.