(Arcadia) – Billy McCreary kicked a 19 yard field goal with eight seconds left in the game to give St. Francis a 31-28 win over Arcadia Friday night at Salter Stadium. Arcadia had a 20-2 lead early in the second quarter only to see it evaporate as the Golden Knights reeled off 26 consecutive points to lead 28-20 in the fourth.
Arcadia put together its best drive of the night in the final period marching 65 yards in 14 plays with Sheldon McKinley going the last eight yards to cut the lead to two. After an Arcadia penalty Myles Carr hit Taylor Lagace in the end zone for a two point conversion to tie it at 28.
St. Francis then took the ball on its own 25 yard line with 5:34 left. The Golden Knights chewed up almost the entire clock behind the running of Austin De Los Santos as they moved the ball down to the two yard line with 12 seconds left.
After two timeouts called by Arcadia Coach Jon Dimalante, McCreary calmly booted home the game winner from 19 yards out.
“We let them off the hook. It was a good football game but we have to clean up some things,” Dimalante said. “We expected to win after being up early but we made too many turnovers and mistakes. They (St. Francis) are a good football team and you have to give them credit.”
Lagace got the Apaches started early returning the opening kick off back 90 yards for a touchdown shaking off several tackles in the process.
After St. Francis went three and out and the Apaches took advantage again. They drove 48 yards in six plays with Rodney Arnett scoring on a 13 yard run.
A bad snap out of the endzone resulted in a safety for St. Francis later in the first, but the Arcadia defense led to another touchdown early in the second. St. Francis quarterback Jared Lebowitz tried to toss a forward lateral that was picked off by Robby Haines and returned 75 yards for a score. It was 20-2 and things were all good in Apache Land.
But then the tide started to turn.
Arcadia turned the ball over on two of its next three possessions on a fumble and an interception and St. Francis rallied. Lebowitz capped a 68 yard dive with a 34 yard touchdown pass to Ryan McAleenan.
With just 29 seconds left in the half Lebowitz struck again, this time on a 29 yard strike to Christian Hess in the corner of the endzone cutting Arcadia’s lead to 20-15 at halftime.
In the third, the Golden Knights picked up right where they left off. Arcadia went punt- fumble on its first two series while St. Francis’ offense was finding its groove.
Daniel Karamura’s 27 yard run down to the two yard line highlighted a 72 yard march that Luke Anderson capped with a two yard run.
On the next series Lebowitz hit Hess again for a 34 yard TD toss for a 28-20 lead. Arcadia scored once more to set up McCreary’s heroics.
“We didn’t quit. We fought back and although it wasn’t pretty we’re happy to get a win,” said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds. “I’m proud of our quarterback (Lebowitz.) He made some tough throws tonight.
And McCreary made the tough kick when it counted.
Lebowitz completed 16 of 32 for 231 yards and three touchdowns. Hess caught three passes for 66 yards and two scores.
Next week St. Francis is home against Crescenta Valley while Arcadia hosts Monrovia.
SF 2 13 13 3 31
A 14 6 0 8 28
A 11:46 Lagace 90 yd KO Ret. (Nick Puliciano Kick)
A 6:25 Arnett 13 yd run (Pulciano Kick)
SF 2:16 Arcadia snap out of end zone – Safety
A 11:43 Haines 75 yd Int. Ret. (Bad snap, 2 pt pass failed)
SF 5:14 McAleenan 34 yd pass from Lebowitz (McCreary Kick)
SF :29 Hess 29 yd pass from Lebowitz (2 pt pass failed)
SF 6:53 Anderson 2 yd run (2 pt pass failed)
SF 2:26 Hess 28 yd pass from Lebowitz (McCreary Kick)
A 5:40 McKinley 8 yd run (Lagace pass from Carr 2 pt)
SF :08 McCreary 19 yd FG