EC Preps

PATRIOTS OUTLAST UPSET MINDED CENTURIONS TO ADVANCE

ALEXANDER GONZALEZ OUTRUNS THE CENTURIONS DEFENSE / PHOTO COURTESY OF DON DEMARS PHOTOGRAPHY

2018 EASTCOUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

BY ADAM PAUL

CIF DIVISION III QUARTERFINAL

ECPREPS.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF DON DEMARS PHOTOGRAPHY

#1 CHRISTIAN 42, #8 UNIVERSITY CITY 41

In what turned out to be one of the more exciting contests on the night and quite opposite of when these two teams met a couple weeks ago in the regular season finale the Patriots would outlast the high flying Centurions.

OWEN EASLEY LOOKING TO PASS / PHOTO BY DON DEMARS PHOTOGRAPHY

Things looked good early on for the Patriots as Javier Jimenez would give them an early lead on a 12-yard touchdown run and with the 2-point conversion an early 8-0 lead. However, that lead would only last a short time as the flying offense of the Centurions would strike as Casey Granfors would haul in a touchdown catch for 13-yards and on the defensive side pick off an Owen Easley pass and run it back to the house for the 86-yard pick 6 to make it 14-8.

Christian (10-1) would tie things up in the second quarter as Jimenez scored again this time on a 1-yard score. Both teams offensively would score again. Christian would take the lead on an Alexander Gonzalez short run and the Centurions would answer thanks to a Granfors circus one-handed grab that went for 38-yards from Gunnar Gray to tie it up 21-21 which would end up the score at intermission.

JAVIER JIMENEZ SCORES / PHOTO COURTESY OF DON DEMARS PHOTOGRAPHY

With the score tied in the third quarter, the Patriots retook the lead as Gonzalez found the end zone for 54-yards and his second score of the evening to make it 27-21 as the extra point was missed. They would extend their lead over the Centurions to two scores as Easley was able to hook up with Matt Armijo for a 10-yard score to make it 35-21. University City (5-7) would inch closer as Granfors scored again on another pass from Gray to make it 35-27.

GARRETT ROSENTHAL TACKLES GUNNAR GRAY / PHOTO BY DON DEMARS PHOTOGRAPHY

With the momentum in their favor, the Centurions in the fourth quarter were able to force a couple of turnovers that proved to be costly for the Patriots. The turnovers proved costly as the Centurions capitalized behind Gray hooking up with Jurne Smith twice, one was for 9-yards and the other was a long 61-yarder which would give them the lead but the extra point was missed so the lead was 41-35.

Still, with a lot of time left in the contest, the Patriots were in pretty good shape as there were about 3 minutes remaining. Christian was able to drive down the field and run the clock down with a couple of seconds remaining. With just the couple of seconds, remaining Easley took the snap and found Bryce Riepl in the middle of the end zone for the score to tie the game at 41-41. Unfortunately, the extra point was missed and the thought was overtime. What wasn’t noticed was the fact that the officials had thrown a flag. The penalty was against the Centurions for roughing the kicker which allowed the Patriots to re-kick and make the extra point to give them the lead and also eventually the victory.

The Patriots on the night were able to take advantage of the run game behind the duo of Gonzalez and Jimenez whom each had over 100 yards respectively.

With the victory, the Patriots will stay home and host the Morse Tigers who went down to the desert and came away with the 25-14 victory over #4 seed Brawley.

 

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