In a battle of two evenly-matched teams vying for sole possession of first place in the Southeast Yosemite League, mistakes were the difference.

East High played a much cleaner game than visiting North. The result was a 21-16 victory for the Blades over the Stars at Robert Wheeler Stadium.

East's defense intercepted North three times, including a 42-yard pick-six by Jackson Phillips.

The Blades, who didn't commit any turnovers, turned in a solid, steady all-around performance.

The Stars were flagged 18 times for 182 yards.

Blades senior quarterback Richard Lara passed for 158 yards and a touchdown, plus ran for another score to help East pull out a game that went down to the wire.

After East kicker Luis Gutierrez missed a 32-yard field goal with 2:15 left in the game, North got the ball on its own 20 yard line.

The Stars drove to the East 37, but with 41 seconds remaining, North quarterback Shannon Ferguson threw a pass over the middle that Phillips grabbed out of the air for his second interception of the game.

North and East entered the game as the only two SEYL teams without a conference loss.

East led 14-8 at halftime on the strength of two Lara touchdowns, one running and one passing.

Following a scoreless first quarter, East struck first with 7:23 left in the first half.

Lara faked an inside handoff to Brandon Austin and then raced 21 yards for a touchdown.

North answered immediately. Shannon Ferguson returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards to the Stars 47 yard line. Eight plays later, Chris Romero sliced through the middle of the line for a 4-yard TD run.

North sent out its kicker to attempt to tie the game. But after an offsides penalty on East, the Stars decided to go for two and Romero converted.

Trailing 8-7, East got the ball back and drove 75 yards to regain the lead, 14-8.

Lara executed a perfect play-action fake and then found Luis Gutierrez over the middle for a 19-yard touchdown pass.

Despite running only 21 offensive plays in the first half, East had 223 net yards.

North gained 204 yards of offense in the first half.

The Stars were hurt badly by self-inflicted wounds in the first half, racking up 12 penalties for 117 yards during the game's first 24 minutes

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