By Joe Torosian, Alex Gonzalez & Rich Whittington
(La Canada)—The CIF Division III title wasn’t settled until the last night…the last quarter…the last drive…the last play…the last kick…the last second. And it was Luis Santiago’s last kick from 37-yards as time expired that gave Rancho Verde a 44-42 championship victory over the St. Francis Golden Knights at Friedman Field on Friday night.
In terms of thrills and edge of seat, white-knuckle, action this was a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. The teams traded blows from the start. The Mustangs would punch, the Golden Knights would counter-punch.
With 4:46 to play, St. Francis was facing a fourth and nine from its own 12. Trailing 35-28 and knowing a field goal would be of no help, Golden Knights HC, Jim Bonds decided to go for it. Quarterback Darius Perrantes connected with Blake Howard on a crossing-route at the goal line. Nico Boschetti added the point after and the game was tied.
The Mustangs went back to work. Sophomore quarterback, Brock White hit wide receiver, Kamryn Woodson on a dig-route. Woodson found his way to the sidelines and raced 64-yards to paydirt.
But the game turned when Santiago’s extra-point was blocked by St. Franks Greg Dulcich. The score was 41-35 in favor of Green Ranch, but now the Golden Knights saw their opportunity and went for it.
Perrantes struck to Dulcich for a 53-yard gain. Three plays later sophomore running back, Kevin Armstead left a trail of defenders as he spun and dove into the end zone with 1:01 to play. Boschetti drilled the point-after and for the first time St. Francis led 42-41.
Trailing for the first time and looking into the abyss the Mustangs began the season’s final drive at their own 36. Holt started with an incompletion and then went 11-yards to Jamar Simpson. Then 6-yards to Manny Allen, 16-yards to Woodson, and 10-yards to Simpson before an incomplete pass led to Santiago’s final boot.
Perrantes: 14-21-266-2Tds-Int…14/34yds 2Tds
Brock White 16-36-544 yards 4 Touchdowns