If the sports gods were always fair, Jack Barmasse would have been rewarded for his stellar play with a game-winning touchdown pass.
Barmasse has filled in admirably for Agoura's injured quarterback Richard Poutier and against Royal High in Simi Valley on Friday night, he and the Chargers were seeking their second straight win and a 3-2 record.
"He did really well," said Agoura coach Charlie Wegher. "I thought he had another really good game."
But a late comeback was thwarted when Barmasse was intercepted by Royal's Alejandro Reynoso on a pass near the end zone with 36 seconds remaining and the Highlanders clinging to a six point lead. Royal held on to win 24-18.
"It was disappointing," Wegher said. "I was very confident that we were going to win that game going into it. But they drove the ball on us and consumed a lot of clock. We only had the ball twice in the first half.
"We just had a tough time stopping the run, consistently, and then we just couldn't finish the game (with a score)."
Agoura, which has to settle for a 2-3 record as it heads to the respite provided by this Friday's bye, had climbed back from a 21-6 third quarter deficit.
"We got down twice by two touchdowns," Wegher said. "But we rallied and came back and had a chance to win at the end."
In fact, after Royal, which remains unbeaten at 4-0, scored to go ahead 21-6, it took Agoura just four plays to score as Barmasse connected with Andrew Costin for a 67-yard TD pass play.
Agoura missed its second straight extra point, however, and trailed 21-12, still in the third quarter.
Costin, a senior wide receiver, led the Chargers with seven receptions for 104 yards in the game.
Agoura then held Royal and got the ball back in good field possession. And early in the fourth quarter, a 39-yard drive was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run by back Sean Bar.
Agoura tried a two-point conversion this time, but that was unsuccessful and the Royal lead was three, 21-18.
Along with his heroics on offense, Bar, a senior, led Agoura with 10 unassisted tackles and had 11 overall. He is a defensive back.
Royal added to the lead when Fernando Samayoa kicked a 37-yard field goal with about three minutes left in the game.
A bad end to a great night for the Agoura quarterback
Down 24-18, and hoping to have one last chance to make good on an extra point, one that would win the game by one point, the Chargers got to the Royal 20-yard line. But Barmasse was sacked on the next play.
Then, on the interception, Agoura's only turnover of the game, Barmasse was rushed again by a Highlanders' blitz that wasn't picked up immediately by the Chargers' offensive line.
That led to Barmasse hurrying his throw and Royal's cornerback, Reynoso, made the game-saving defensive play.
Barmasse completed 15 of 22 passes (68.2 percent) in the game for 196 yards and two touchdowns. He and senior wide receiver Shawn Kagan, who had three receptions for 57 yards, combined for a 28-yard TD late in the second quarter.
"I told (Barmasse) afterwards, 'You had a great game,'" Wegher said. "'You played very, very well.'... And certainly when you have a game like that, you can't blame any one particular kid.
"And I told him that I didn't. There are a lot of things that go into a game like that. We were lucky to be in that position (with a chance to win at the end)."
In only its second possession of the whole first half, Agoura drove 85 yards for the score that cut Royal's 14-0 lead to 14-6 before halftime and was a precursor for the comeback theme that followed.
"Everybody is disappointed, because I think all the kids, all the coaches, we really thought this was a game we could have won," said Wegher. "And I thought we had a good game plan. We were well prepared. And the kids were in the right frame of mind.
"It was there," Wegher added. "We just didn't do it. But I just told our position coaches to look at the (game) tape; make a list of the things that we need to get better at. And that's what we're going to do this week. Spend time on those things."
A bye week before playing the first Marmonte League foe
Agoura will next play at Oaks Christian in Westlake Village on Oct. 5. It will be the first official Marmonte League game of the season after the league was split into two divisions this year.
Wegher said he agreed with Calabasas' head coach Christian Pierce when told his philosophy of how he approaches impending opponents.
"I think I agree with Christian," Wegher said. "We just need to focus on the areas where we need to get better. And that's all we can focus on, is how much we can get better.
"And we're going to go play them with the kids we have and hopefully won't make some of the mistakes we've made in our three losses."
First, though, Agoura will have a break. They will have no practice this Wednesday because of Yom Kippur and the bye week will provide the players with injuries some recovery time.
Sam Ruben, a junior lineman, missed the Royal game due to a concussion, but will be back for the game against Oaks Christian.
Wegher said senior wide receiver Bryan Hochberg probably won't be back from a broken ankle until the Thousand Oaks game on Oct. 12.
Starting right guard, junior Robert Webb, is going to be out for three weeks due to arthroscopic surgery on his knee to repair a torn meniscus cartilage.
Wegher, who already praised Barmasse, also complimented a couple of his other players after the Royal game.
"Luke Duff continues to get better," he said. The junior linebacker had 10 total tackles against the Highlanders.
"And Andrew Costin had a big game including that long touchdown catch." Costin also caught the TD pass in overtime from Poutier that gave the Chargers the win in the season opener over Oak Park.
Poutier, a senior who is hopeful to return from an injury by the Thousand Oaks game, will still be the starter when he is ready. Barmasse is a junior.
Cody Banks, a senior defensive back, and Tristram Gillette, a senior linebacker, led the Chargers with 12 total tackles apiece against Royal.