Lancers hold off Valley Christian in WCAL thriller
By: JOHN REID Daily News Staff Writer
Posted October 6
A bad snap sent the ball flying past Valley Christian-San Jose kicker Kody Kroenig, and that sent Saint Francis-Mountain View into a state of ecstasy at Brother Fisher Field. Kroenig’s potential game winning 27-yard field goal as time expired never came to fruition as Saint Francis held off the ground-oriented Warriors for a 28-27 victory on a cool Friday evening. The Lancers (3 2, 2-0 West Catholic Athletic League) are, indeed, players in the WCAL under third-year coach Nick Navarro.
“We talk about having to execute in moments of need,” Navarro said. “We happened to pull it off in a couple of close situations.”
The Lancers, who trailed by six points with 5:11 to play, drove 78 yards on 13 plays for the winning score behind the arm of quarterback Mike Lauck. Working no-huddle out of the gun, Lauck completed a 22-yard pass to a leaping Charlie Clarke to the Valley Christian 21. A 5-yard pass to Brycen Carbonel, then a 9-yard pass to Carbonel got the ball to the 3-yard line after a personal foul call on the Warriors. On second down, Lauck found Carbonel in the back of the end zone with 1:18 to play. Patrick Fordham’s fourth extra-point stood as the game-winner.
“I really wanted to get the team a win,” Lauck said. “I had let my team down when I had back-to-back turnovers that killed drives. I wanted to knuckle down and take care of the ball. My receivers stepped up. And we’re getting our running game back.”
Lauck finished 17-for-24 for 182 yards with one interception — a diving pick by the Warriors’ Yusuf Haddad that stalled a Saint Francis drive at the Valley Christian 4-yard line.
Earlier, Lauck had thrown touchdown passes of 15 and 20 yards to Austin Woodard, who made fabulous catches on both scores. Woodard jumped over the top of a defender to make the reception on his first TD, which came with 1:13 left in the first quarter. On his second TD, Lauck out-wrestled a Warriors defensive back with 4:52 remaining in the half.
“Our receivers showed up in a major way,” Navarro said. “The entire offense did. We caught passes, ran the ball well, we threw balls. Our defense was stout when we needed them.”
Tailback Alex Andrighetto was a workhorse for the Lancers, rushing for 96 yards on 25 carries. Andrighetto was clutch out of the backfield on pass plays, catching five second-half passes for 52 yards. An interception by Landon Baty set up Andrighetto’s 13-yard TD run on a draw play that gave the Lancers a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
“I told Andrighetto during the week that he was going to be the guy,” Navarro said. “I told him to run like he ran in practice. He was pounding people.”
Baty started the second half with a 56-yard kickoff return, but he tripped up on his own or else he might have taken it to the house. The Lancers were forced to punt, which pinned the Warriors (2-3, 0-2 WCAL) on their own 1-yard line. Valley Christian went 99 yards on 11 plays to tie the game. Kirk Johnson had a 31-yard run, then a 21yard run after breaking a few tackles to place the ball at the Saint Francis 11.
Ryan Severson, who had 132 yards on 17 carries, went 11 yards for the touchdown. Severson took a pitch and scored the two-point conversion to tie the game 21-all. Severson’s 21-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter put the Warriors up 27-21 after another bad snap on the extrapoint unfolded.
Though the Lancers’ defense broke, at times, against the Warriors’ vaunted wing-T attack, it didn’t break completely. Saint Francis down linemen Shane Artim and John Powers played well, as did linebacker Eddie Wadors and defensive back JT Bognanno.
Valley Christian 0 13 8 6 — 27 Saint Francis 7 14 0 7 — 28 First Quarter SF—Woodard 15 pass from Lauck (Fordham kick) 1:13
SF—A. Andrighetto 13 run (Fordham kick) 11:26 VC—Johnson 9 run (Kroenig kick) 6:47 SF—Woodard 20 pass from Lauck (Fordham kick) 4:52 VC—MacIntyre 30 run (kick failed) :50 Third Quarter
VC—Severson 11 run (Severson run) 3:30
VC— Severson 21 run (run failed) 11:53 SF—Carbonel 3 pass from Lauck (Fordham kick) 1:18
RUSHING— Valley Christian, Kroenig 1-(-20), MacIntyre 9-59, Johnson 16-96, Severson 17-132, Osuna 7-22, Gonzales 1-6. St. Francis, A. Andrighetto 25-96, Lauck 3-(-26), Woodard 1-3.
PASSING— Valley Christian, MacIntyre 6-12-1-76. St.
Francis, Lauck 17-24-1-182.
RECEIVING— Valley Christian, Novak 2-22, Johnson 1-19, Moore 1-10, Severson 1-19, Alexander 1-15. St.
Francis, Clarke 4-51, Woodard 3-61, Carbonel 5-20, A. Andrighetto 5-52,