Strathmore High running back Joseph Garcia didn’t just beat Rosamond with his legs.
The Spartans senior also took down the Roadrunners with his arm.
On the third play of the second half, Garcia threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Salas out of the Wildcat formation, giving the top-seeded Spartans a two-score lead that held up in a 42-32 victory Friday night for a second consecutive Central Section Division VI championship.
“It’s a remarkable feat,” Strathmore coach Jeromy Blackwell said after winning his fourth section title at the school. “Joseph hasn’t thrown a ball that nice all year but he’s so clutch when it’s crunch time.”
Garcia, the third-leading rusher in the section, crossed the 2,000-yard mark for the year with 35 carries for 183 yards and three touchdown runs.
Only 39 of those yards came in the second half, forcing the Spartans to depend on their defense to hold on against Roadrunners quarterback Isiah Escobar, who ran for 145 yards and passed for 173 yards.
Three interceptions did the trick, starting with Armando Rodriguez’s pick on the first play of the second half, and ending with Alonso Acevedo’s interception in the end zone with 1:18 to play.
Strathmore next plays Friday, Dec. 1 at Hilmar in a North Region 6AA play-in game. Game time is 7:30 p.m.