Santa Paula, CA — The ball slipped through the backup receiver’s hands and into the hands of the diving defensive back. The red-zone mistake opened the door for Santa Paula to take the lead with 77 seconds to play Friday night in the 113th Leather Helmet Game. But David Jimenez reminded Adrian Magana that he was still able to change history. “His head was down and I told him to keep going,” Jimenez said. “We had plenty of game left and look what he did.” Jimenez hit Magana with a 41-yard drive starter and a 30-yard TD pass as Fillmore drove the length of the field in the final minute to edge rival Santa Paula, 37-35, in an unforgettable Route 126 rivalry showdown at Jones Field. “David made sure my head was up,” Magana said. Jimenez, still only playing quarterback because of the training camp injury suffered by Anthony Tafoya, completed 24 of 36 passes for a school-record 385 yards and five touchdowns and also kicked four extra points and a key 30-yard field goal as Fillmore retained the Leather Helmet trophy for a third straight year. Jimenez had 439 all-purpose yards, receiver Ray Curiel caught eight passes for 135 yards and two TDs and running back Jojo Cruz had 106 yards from scrimmage and a TD catch for the Flashes. It is the first time the Flashes haven beaten Santa Paula three straight times since 1994. Jimenez, who expected to start at running back and middle linebacker this season, volunteered to play quarterback for the first time since eighth grade when Tafoya went down last month. On Friday, he threw for the most yards in a game in the history of Ventura County’s most historic rivalry. “If it was up to David, he’d be leading his team and that’s what he did tonight,” Fillmore coach Charlie Weis said. “Whether it’s at quarterback, linebacker — which he got to play a bit of tonight — running back, whatever, David is the ultimate leader. “His poise, his posture, the way that he conducts himself, the way that he supports everybody, it has been the backbone of our rebuild in the first three weeks of the season. And now it’s propelled us on an excellent trajectory right now. I feel really good about us.” Fillmore improved to 4-3, 1-0 in the Citrus Coast League, with its third straight win. “It was a heck of a game,” Santa Paula coach Mike Montoya said. “I thought we played well enough to win, as did they. But we just didn’t make the plays defensively when we needed to. Their passing game really did us in.” Powered by 262 yards rushing and two touchdowns by junior Allen Macias, previously unbeaten Santa Paula (5-1, 0-1) took three leads in the first half and came from behind to take a 35-30 lead with 1:17 left. “Stopping Allen is pretty much impossible,” Weis said. “He’s an incredible athlete. But I think we slowed him down to the point where the speed of our offense, our ability to quick score, made it so that they were just in a bad spot. “They did everything that a team should do to win there.” Macias carried the ball 10 times on the 12-play, 80-yard drive that took up more than seven minutes of the fourth quarter. He converted a third-and-1 and a third-and-3 before his 2-yard run gave Santa Paula a late 35-30 lead. “We definitely responded, especially that last drive,” Montoya said. “It’s a shame somebody has to lose.” Fillmore took over from its own 14 with 1:07 left and Jimenez immediately went right back to Magana to move Fillmore across midfield. “That was a crazy one,” Jimenez said. “I had to step up in the pocket. I looked at the post, he wasn’t open. I saw Adrian Magana on the wheel route and he caught it.” Two short passes set up the game-winning 30-yard post with 31 seconds left. “My line gave me all the time in the world today,” Jimenez said. “I don’t think I got sacked once.” For much of the first half, Santa Paula’s ground game seemed too powerful. The Cardinals won the coin toss, elected to receive and drove 66 yards in seven plays, taking a 7-0 lead on Macias’ 7-yard TD run. But Jimenez got comfortable as the game went on. His 42-yard strike to Mauricio Ocegueda tied the game at 7-7 with 1:17 left in the first. After Macias answered with a 57-yard TD run, Jimenez found Ocegueda again for a 5-yard TD pass to tie the game 14-14 with 5:31 left in the half. “I knew Allen was a dog,” Jimenez said. “He got us for a lot of yards. I’ll give it to him.” After a 9-yard quarterback keeper by Izahah Mata put Santa Paula ahead again, Jimenez foreshadowed his success in the two-minute drill by guiding the Flashes 80 yards in the final 2:38 of the half. He hit Curiel on a 41-yard post and Cruz for a 9-yard TD pass with 48 seconds left in the half. The PAT was wide, so Santa Paula held a 21-20 halftime lead. Fillmore built a 30-21 lead in the third quarter on Jimenez’s 20-yard TD strike to Curiel and a 30-yard Jimenez field goal with 5:42 left in the third quarter. Mata’s 9-yard TD pass to Sebastian Cripe on play action pulled the Cardinals within 30-28 with 44 seconds left in the third quarter and set up a dramatic fourth quarter. Leading 35-30, Fillmore drove to the Santa Paula 15, but its chance to put the game away squeezed through Magana and into the hands of a diving Cripes in the end zone with 8:06 left. “We never stopped believing in ourselves,” Weis said. Given a second chance, Jimenez, who often picks up his big teammates in his small Honda Accord and drives them to school or practice, drove his team to an unforgettable victory. “Whenever they need a ride,” Jimenez said.