Taking its first and only lead with 3:35 left in the game, the Alvarez High football team beat Christopher High 26-23 Friday, erasing a 14-point first-half deficit.
The win kept the Eagles undefeated at 6-0 and sets up a showdown for first place in the MBL Pacific Division next Friday at home against North Salinas.
Both teams are 3-0 in league with three games to play.
Down 23-18 with time winding down, Alvarez converted a fourth-and-8 when quarterback Edric Gamble connected with Diego Vega on an 8-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 10-play, 75-yard game-winning drive.
Gamble woke up the Eagles’ passing game the previous series when he found Ryan Hocog on a 92-yard touchdown pass on the very first play from scrimmage to cut their deficit to 23-18.
After near perfection through the air in the first half, Christopher’s offense stalled much of the remainder of the game.
Cougar quarterback Sterling Montgomery, who completed 13 passes in a row at one point in the game, struggled in the second half, completing just 7-of-15 passes for 64 yards.
He finished the game with 202 yards and three touchdowns — a 13-yarder to Victor Chillin, a 14-yarder to Raul Tovar and a 2-yarder to Tyler Fhurong, all in the first half.
Alvarez’s only score in the first half came on a 99-yard run by Gamble when he faked a pitch on an option and found a seam up the middle of the field and raced to the end zone.