Running back Avega Siolo was a workhorse, and the Peninsula Seahawks' defense and special teams units shined Friday night at Roy Anderson Field.
Siolo compiled 19 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and Peninsula (3-3 overall, 2-0 SPSL 3A) overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to beat the Auburn Mountainview Lions 17-10 on homecoming night.
"It was just phenomenal blocking and a phenomenal effort," said Siolo, a 5-foot-9, 215-pound back who also plays linebacker. "Everyone did their part. That's what we worked all summer for."
It was anything but easy.
Auburn Mountainview sophomore quarterback Gresch Jensen completed 25 of 41 passes for 183 yards, and senior Joey Cassano had nine receptions for 87 yards to lead a Lions team that was in it until the final minute.
Peninsula senior Will Hopkins intercepted a pass, and senior Zach Howard blocked a field goal at the end of the first half, although junior cornerback Marque Kriebel had the final say.
Jensen was leading the Lions (1-5, 0-2) down the field for the potential tying touchdown when Auburn Mountainview faced fourth and inches from the Peninsula 27-yard line with 41 seconds to play.
Instead of tossing a quick pass to the flat -- like the Lions had done repeatedly for most of the night -- Jensen used a pump fake and lobbed a pass toward the right sideline for Cassano.
"I bit on (the fake), and (Cassano) beat me," Kriebel said. "But our D-line got in (Jensen's) face. I just saw the ball in the air and ran as fast as I could."
Kriebel recovered just enough to tip the ball away as both players crashed to the turf. It was the final sequence in a back-and-forth battle that could have gone either way.
Peninsula quarterback Robert Kvinsland went 10-of-17 passing for 87 yards, and Austin Kilcup completed a big 23-yard pass that converted a fourth down on a fake punt.
Auburn Mountainview's Ray Hardaway returned the opening kickoff 88 yards to put the Lions on top, 7-0, and it stayed that way until the third quarter. Peninsula had two scoring chances in the first half, but the Seahawks missed a 35-yard field-goal attempt and failed to convert on fourth and goal from the 4.
They turned their first possession of the second half into points three plays after the fake-punt conversion when Siolo busted free on a 39-yard touchdown run, his longest effort of the night.
Auburn Mountainview regained the lead when Devon Tandberg kicked a 36-yard field goal a little more than a minute into the fourth quarter, but Peninsula needed just four plays to answer with Siolo's 12-yard TD run. That play was set up when Kvinsland connected with sophomore Kyle Olson-Urbon on a 44-yard hookup deep across the middle.
Peninsula's Till Bruns made it 17-10 when he booted a 37-yard field goal with 2:36 to play. The possession came after Hopkins' interception turned the tide.
"I'm very proud of our players," Seahawks coach Ross Filkins said. "They didn't waver. I just love our players for having the confidence, regardless of the situation."
For more on Friday night's game, read the Oct. 16 print edition of the Gateway.