By Alex Gonzalez
(La Canada) —With eight seconds left in regulation, Henry Ikahihifo hauled in Marshall Saul’s game-winning touchdown pass to give Paraclete the 56-49 win over St. Francis Friday night at Friedman Field.
Just before Clete’s final drive, St. Francis had just under seven minutes to compile a drive that would tie the ball game at 49. They did it in less than three minutes when Darius Perrantes connected with Will Stewart over the middle for the score with 4:24 left in the game.
With no timeouts left, the Spirits quickly managed to drive down the field. Saul’s favorite target on the drive was Ikahihifo who connected with three times to help move the ball into scoring territory. On second and 3, Saul dropped back and found Ikahihifo in front of the goal line and he bullied his way for the touchdown.
St. Franks tried for one last scoring drive, but the Clete prevent defense stuffed Armstead who was trying to make his way to the end zone.
Throughout the second half, the two teams would trade scoring blows. Going into intermission, Paraclete had a 28-7 lead, but the Golden Knights quickly erased that when they managed back-to-back scoring drives to start the second frame.
Perrantes connected with Carson Oakland for a 34-yard touchdown pass and Max Garrison scored his first rushing touchdown of the night. After the scores, Clete’s lead was only seven with seven minutes left to play.
The Spirits quickly responded to the scores when Jaylen Sargent took the reception and bolted for the touchdown from 80 yards out.
St. Francis punched back with a three-play scoring drive that was capped by Armstead’s two-yard rushing score to put the score at 35-28 midway through the third.
Just before the end of the quarter, Justin Haywood joined the scoring party when he slipped past the St. Francis secondary and grabbed Saul’s pass for the score to give his team a 42-28 edge.
Just as the fourth started, Perrantes capped another drive when he threw his second touchdown pass of the half when he hooked up with Bryson Reeves. The defense, however, couldn’t stop Xavier Ochoa-Rico’s 46-yard rushing touchdown on Paraclete’s ensuing possession.
The Spirits thought the game was put to rest when they stuffed St. Franks on a fourth and short but they couldn’t do anything on their ensuing possession when they were forced to punt.
Then St. Francis responded by another Perrantes touchdown pass to Reeves from 16-yards out, putting the score at 42-49.