Golden Knights Advance to Semis

Devyn Turner scored twice for the Golden Knights.

By Alex A. Gonzalez

La Canada — St. Francis took care of business Friday night at Friedman field behind Devyn Turner and Jack Jacobs, who combined for five touchdowns in their 35-28 shootout win over Villa Park in the second round of the Division 5 CIF-SS playoffs. 

The Golden Knights (8-3)(4-1) wasted no time when they opened the night with a one-play touchdown drive 15 seconds into the quarter. Jacobs faked the handoff to Tuner and then threw a dart to Hank Foley, who took it 67 yards to the house. 

“We knew that we were running that play early, and we are glad that it set up nice,” said Jacobs postgame. “The coach’s game plan was nice, and we just had to execute.”

The quick start continued for St. Francis on its next possession as the Spartans (6-5) (2-1) failed to respond on their first series. This time, instead of a one-play drive, the Knights went 87 yards down the field in 10 plays to have Jacobs be on the receiving end of a receiver pass from Jett Mccullough for the touchdown to put his team up 14-0 with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter. 

Villa Park was then able to respond with a touchdown as the second quarter started. Senior running back Carson Ridge reached pay dirt from two yards out after his team methodically drove down the field. 

It did not take long for St. Francis to respond with a scoring drive as they started to pull away midway through the second quarter. Turner scored his first two touchdowns of the night from 23 yards out, adding to his team’s total before the intermission.

“The plan was to go out in there and play hard football. We knew they were going to come in with a chip on their shoulder,” commented Tuner. “That’s why we came out with the trick plays in the beginning and dominated.”

Heading into the break, the Golden Knights took their 21-7 lead into the locker rooms, with the Spartans set to receive the second-half kickoff. 

Villa Park came within one score after Carter Christie and Ridge took turns carrying the ball down the field to set them for their second touchdown. Nate Lewis carried the ball into the end zone that capped the seven-play drive with 8:21 in the third period. 

St. Francis was unfazed by the touchdown as they were able to punch back with a scoring drive of their own on their ensuing possession. Jacobs threw his second touchdown pass of the night to Mccullough, who made his defender miss the tackle and walk into the end zone for the 21-yard score. 

The Spartans were then able to repeat what they did when they scored a touchdown to start the third quarter, but this time as the final period began, Ridge scored his second touchdown of the night, bringing his team to a 28-21 deficit with 11:17 left. 

However, the Spartans’ defense could not contain Turner and the Knights’ offense on their next possession. Of the seven plays on their touchdown drive, Turner carried the ball six times, with the last carry being a 17-yard touchdown run, extending their lead to 35-21 midway through the fourth quarter.

Villa Park used their hurry-up offense following the touchdown, and with 2:34 remaining in the final frame, they were able to add one more touchdown thanks to Lewis’ touchdown pass to Jeremiah Leftwich. 

But, as the special teams tried to recover an onside kick following the touchdown, Preston Jernegan, who also had an interception on the night, was able to recover the kick and the Golden Knights were able to run out the clock.

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