By Alex Gonzalez
La Canada — St. Francis defensive lineman, Racin Delgatty picked off La Serna’s Jake Long’s pass and four plays later Max Garrison punched in the game’s clinching touchdown propelling the Golden Knights to a 20-0 semifinals win over La Serna Friday night at Jim Bonds stadium.
With the win, St. Francis advances to the the Division 4 Final and will look to be crowned champions when they will host Long Bach Poly next Friday night.
“It’s a crazy accomplishment. This whole team has been dreaming this moment,” Said Garrison after the game. “I’m so proud of the team and coach Harrington came in here and gave us a great gameplan and were off to the finals.”
The road to the title game did not come as easy as the score indicated. Both the Golden Knights and Lancers exchanged possession of the ball with no points for the first 23 minutes of the first half.
La Serna had an opportunity at three points on their first possession but their 35-yard field goal was blocked.
It was not until the final seconds of the second quarter when the Golden Knights booted a 27-yard field goal, thanks to Clint Geryak.
With possession given to the Golden Knights to start the second half, the offense relied on Garrison to lead the way for the game’s first score.
The second half drive started with Jack Jacobs connecting with Garrison for 26 yards. Then after Garrison picked up 27 yards on two carries, that paved the way for Jacobs to sneak his way into the end zone with 8:12 in the third quarter.
The Lancers tried to counter with a scoring drive on the ensuing possession but the receiver screen pass to Jake George was called back due to an Illegal Formation penalty halting the touchdown play. The Lancers were not able to recover and turned the ball over on downs two plays later.
After Geryak converted his second field goal of the night to give St. Francis a 13-0 edge, La Serna tried to put points on the board but their next possession.
However, that did not work because Owen Long was stripped at the St. Francis 1-yard line and was recovered by Mher Baranian with 5:42 left in regulation.
St. Francis was able to end the Lancers’ hopes for a comeback when Delgatty picked off Long’s pass on the La Serna 23 yard line with 2:53 left to play. The Golden Knights wasted no time to convert the turnover into points.
Garrison took the handoff and bounced out to the outside corner where he out ran the defense to reach pay dirt.