Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.)You have to give
football coach Steve Hagerty gumption points for going for the win. But you have to give Zach Brumbaugh
more credit for stopping Christian Wiley
on the 2-point try and giving Centennial (Corona, Calif.)
a trip to the Pac 5 title game at Angel Stadium.
According to Eric-Paul Johnson of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Amat scored with 32.4 seconds left to cut Centennial's lead to 38-37.
Rather than kick the extra point and send the game into overtime, Brumbaugh and a host of Centennial defenders stopped Wiley. After an onside kick went out of bounds, the host Huskies survived 38-37 in the Pac 5 semifinal on Friday night.
Centennial (11-2) will take on defending champion and No. 6 St. John Bosco, a 33-21 winner over Long Beach Poly, Saturday at 8 p.m.
Though Brumbaugh made the big defensive stop, wideout Javon Mckinley
was the game's big star with eight catches and 190 yards in the first half alone as Centennial took a 20-10 lead.
With 1,600-yard, 27-touchdown running back JJ Taylor
out again while recovering from an emergency appendectomy, McKinley has been Centennial's go-to guy and he hauled in a 2-yard pass from Anthony Catalano
to take a 7-0 lead.
After a Nico Carillo
33-yard field goal, Nate Ketteringham
, Centennial's other rotating quarterback, scored on a 25-yard touchdown keeper then hit McKinley on a simple 15-yard out. He turned that into a 79-yard score and Centennial led 20-3.
Wiley cut the lead to 20-10 at the half on a 1-yard run, and after an Amat turnover led to a short Centennial field goal, Tyler Vaughns
hauled in an 8-yard TD pass from Ryder Ruiz
, cutting the Centennial lead to 23-17 with 8:30 in the third quarter.
McKinley would hear nothing off it and took a short slant and turned it into a 73-yard TD run, making it 30-17. Brandon Arconado
answered, however, for Amat with an 88-yard catch and run, making it 30-24.
A bad punt snap led to a 10-yard scoring drive for Centennial, which cashed in on a 1-yard Sammonte Bonner
TD run. The Huskies looked comfortably in front, 38-24, with 6:48 left.
But Centennial, which has played some barnbuners over the years, watched as Ruiz made it 38-31 with a 5-yard TD with 3:27 to go. The Huskies thought they had the game clinched with Bonner apparently scoring on a TD run but the officials ruled he had fumbled before crossing the goal line, giving the ball back to Amat at its own 20.
The Lancers (9-4) zipped right down the field to score a touchdown but the 2-point conversion failed. Centennial, which beat Serra (Gardena) 68-64 in earlier Pac 5 play, survived once more.