Terrell Kemp thought he saw an opening in the defense midway through the fourth quarter Friday night.
Agassi Prep’s senior quarterback peered through it, and came up with the biggest play of the game.
Kemp threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Glinton with 6 minutes, 14 seconds to play, to give the Stars the only points they needed in a 6-0 victory over Needles in a Class 2A Southern League opener at Rancho.
“I saw the corner going sideways when he could have backpedaled,” Kemp said. “So I just threw it over his head. That was real big.”
The touchdown pass was a rare offensive highlight in a game better suited for leather helmets. But it gave the Stars (1-2) their first win over the Mustangs (0-3) since jumping to the 11-man level in 2008.
“This is an achievement for us. We’d never beaten Needles before, so we’re going to celebrate tonight,” Kemp said.
Needles lost a fumble at its own 36-yard line with 6:28 left, and Agassi Prep needed only two plays plus a Needles personal foul penalty to get in the end zone.
Both teams combined for five turnovers and 19 penalties for 172 yards as they attempted to shake off some rust.
Agassi Prep coach Colt Goodman was unhappy with the sloppy play, but pleased with his defense.
“We have a lot of work to do, but the defense played outstanding tonight,” Goodman said. “The offense, we shot ourselves in the foot. Realistically, we took two or three scores off the board tonight.
“If the defense can continue to play this way, we’re going to be a good football team. (But) we’re going to have to improve on offense if we’re going to win any more games; we can’t rely all on our defense.”
After Agassi Prep’s go-ahead touchdown, Needles took over at its own 45-yard line and took six plays to drive to Agassi Prep’s 20, but lost another fumble to kill the drive.
Needles had one last chance after taking over at its own 42 with 19.7 seconds remaining, but Mason Cisneros took a pitch and was dropped for a 10-yard loss on the game’s final play.
“Our defense was incredible,” Kemp said. “We had six, seven freshmen starting. I love them all.”
Agassi Prep played without standout senior receiver/linebacker Curtis Watson, who Goodman said could miss 2-3 weeks with a leg injury.
Glinton, a junior, caught three passes for 57 yards for Agassi Prep. Kemp ran for 44 yards on 20 carries.
Freshman Kobe Williams had 21 yards rushing and intercepted a pass for the Stars.
Austin Baldwin rushed for 131 yards on 24 carries for Needles, which was shut out for the second game in a row.