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What a comeback! Campolindo erases 14-point deficit in fourth quarter, stuns Acalanes

LAFAYETTE — They chanted, “One more week. One more week.” They hoisted their sophomore hero Micah Parker, the running back who scored the touchdown that would decide the game.

They broke the hearts of a rival while presumably extending their season into next week’s section playoffs.

Friday night, the Campolindo Cougars rallied from two touchdowns behind in the final quarter to stun host Acalanes 25-24, an outcome that left the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division in a three-way tie for the championship between these teams and Las Lomas.

Had Acalanes won, the Lafayette school would have captured its first outright league title in 42 years.

But it wasn’t to be after Scott Lyon caught a two-point conversion pass from Isaiah Ortiz, which followed Parker’s 23-yard touchdown run with 2:53 left.

Campolindo's Micah Parker (26) avoid a tackle by Acalanes' Gavin Bender (7) to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Campolindo’s Micah Parker (26) avoids a tackle by Acalanes’ Gavin Bender (7) to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Mack Fisher, a junior transfer from De La Salle, clinched the victory with an interception near midfield with 1:08 on the clock, causing a sea of red eruption in the visiting stands.

“We needed that for so many reasons, for our team, for our program, for our school,” Campo coach Kevin Macy said. “You can see the difference between their talent and ours. But our kids just know how to fight and grind and hang around. We’ve got nothing fancy, but we just won’t quit.”

When it ended, Campo students stormed the field, engaging in a wild celebration of hugs and smiles with the players and Macy pulling out his phone and taking video himself to commemorate the triumph.

Campolindo head coach Kevin Macy speaks to his players after defeating Acalanes during their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Campolindo head coach Kevin Macy speaks to his players after defeating Acalanes during their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Football fans rush the field to celebrate with Campolindo's Jake Spencer (5) after defeating Acalanes during their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Football fans rush the field to celebrate with Campolindo’s Jake Spencer (5) after defeating Acalanes during their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Campo trailed 24-10 when Sully Bailey launched a deep pass that track star Paul Kuhner chased down for an over-the-shoulder 54-yard reception with 6:10 to play in the third quarter.

The lightning strike followed what looked like a turnover by Acalanes after a poor snap on a punt led to an incomplete pass. But the officials penalized Campo for a “disconcerting act” near the line of scrimmage, giving Acalanes five yards and a first down at its own 56.

One play later, Kuhner scored his second touchdown of the game. In the first quarter, he returned a punt 57 yards for a TD that gave Acalanes a 14-7 lead.

Acalanes' Paul Kuhner (19) reaches for an over the shoulder 54-yard touch down pass against Campolindo in the third quarter of their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Acalanes’ Paul Kuhner (19) reaches for an over the shoulder 54-yard touch down pass against Campolindo in the third quarter of their game at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Campolindo defeated Acalanes 25-24. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

After the touchdown reception in the third quarter, Acalanes held the 14-point advantage until Campo went on a 52-yard, 12-play scoring drive that ended with Ortiz scoring on a 1-yard sneak with 7:34 left.

Ortiz credited Macy for the comeback.

“He’s just a legend,” the quarterback said. “He’s been putting it in our hearts, in our minds the whole entire year. We’re playing this grueling, boring type of football. Just running the ball. Aca doesn’t like that and we’re just going to be doing that all game.”

Campo forced a three-and-out punt after Ortiz’s touchdown and took over at its 41 with 5:09 on the clock.

Macy put the ball in the hands of Parker and the running back carried the Cougars to victory. He ran 11 yards to the Acalanes 48. He ran 22 yards to the 24.

Two snaps later, he charged across the goal line from 23 yards out to cut the margin to 24-23.

“You keep grinding,” Parker said. “The whole week, Coach said we were going to have to grind this game out. Bore them out.”

With 2:53 on the clock after Parker’s touchdown, Macy called timeout.

Instead of sending out kicker Egor Dobrolyubov, who made a 47-yard field goal in the first half, the coach sent out his offense.

“We didn’t think we’d score with that much time,” Macy said. “We were already talking that if we do strike, we’re going for two. Then we scored and gave them enough time to get the ball back. Everyone was trying to decide if we should take the one. I said, ‘No. No. We said we’re going to go for two.’”

Ortiz rolled right on the two-point play and hit Lyon in the right corner of the end zone.

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