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Trojans slip past Spartans, 24-14, in battle of west side rivals Phillip Brents | Thu, Oct 14 2010 02:44 PM

Who says kickers can’t come up big? Just ask Castle Park senior Jose Figueroa, whose 10 kicking points proved the difference in the host Trojans’ 24-14 victory against the Chula Vista Spartans last Friday. Figueroa booted field goals of 19, 34 and 36 yards and also tacked on an extra-point conversion as Castle Park improved to 5-1 on the season.

The Spartans fell to 1-5.

“The kids played another solid game from start to finish,” Trojan coach Hans Graham said. “Chula Vista gave us a look our defense hadn’t seen before. Our kicking game was huge. We were leading 10-7 at halftime.”

The Spartans were the first to score in the game as Jeff Ayers bulled in front one yard out to hand the visitors a 7-0 first quarter lead. But Daniel Noriega scored the first of his two touchdowns in the game on a six-yard run and Figueroa added the next four points (extra point conversion and 19-yard field goal) to put the hosts up by three points at halftime.

Castle Park added to its point total as Figueroa kicked a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter to increase the lead to six points. Noriega then scored on a one-yard run and teammate Jamar Shelby added a two-point conversion run to extend the Trojan lead to 14 points.

Figueroa later tacked on a 36-yard field goal before Chula Vista narrowed the score on a one-yard run by quarterback Ricky Estevez.

Paul Sierra led CP with 18 rushes for 77 yards while Shelby carried 17 times for 56 yards, Noriega, who was named the MVP of the game, had six rushes for 32 yards and Tyron Eden had four rushes for 28 yards. As a team, the Trojans rushed 46 times for 197 yards.

Stacy Lambert had two catches for 31 yards while Enrique Escalara made one interception on defense. Sierra also blocked a punt.

The Spartans had their opportunities, particularly through the air. Estevez passed for 126 yards, with Ray Holden coming down with three catches for 49 yards and Richard Walker snaring three aerials for 34 yards. Ayers had two catches for 16 yards and also rushed 13 times for 51 yards.

However, the visitors lost two fumbles.

Castle Park will put its winning record to the test against a run-oriented Mar Vista team that is better than its 2-3 record indicates in Friday’s key match-up of Division III teams.  The “playoff stakes” game kicks off at 7 p.m. in Imperial Beach.

The Spartans have a bye.

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