Amat Stuns Seraphs

Behind the big play ability of Darien Johnson, the upstart Lancers stun the Seraphs and win on an overtime PAT...

In the days leading up to their matchup against the heavily favored Seraphs of St. Bonaventure, Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty addressed his team's underdog status, stating that a win would be along the lines of the United States' historic upset over the Soviet Union in the gold medal game of the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

Friday night, Haggerty did his best Herb Brooks impression as his Lancers showcased a "Miracle" of their own, upsetting St. Bonaventure in dramatic fashion on a game-winning PAT in overtime.

The upstart Lancers had a counter for every punch thrown by the two-time defending state champions. Early in the second quarter, Seraphs quarterback Logan Meyer muscled his way into the endzone from one yard out to give St. Bonaventure an early 7-3 lead.

However, Bishop Amat answered back immediately and in resounding fashion as senior Darien Johnson took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 91 yards for the touchdown score.

After a Michael Henderson one-yard run and a Mason Kirk 37-yard field goal, the Seraphs held a 17-10 lead going into halftime, but again, Johnson and the Lancers countered with another big play.

On their first offensive possession of the first half, St. Bonaventure drove the ball all the way down to the Lancers' 21-yard line. However, on 2nd and 10, Logan Meyer's pass was intercepted by Johnson who then used some nice blocking to run the ball back for what became an 84-yard return.

The Seraphs, who were used to imposing their will on their opponents, were unable to sustain any significant drives against an inspired Bishop Amat defense.

Late in the fourth, the Seraphs had a chance to take the lead, but on 3rd and 11 at his own 44-yard line, Meyer's pass was intercepted once more, this time by senior Davis Cazares who returned the ball to the Seraphs' 35-yard line.

With only 1:47 left in regulation and with good field position, the Lancers had a chance to win the game with either a field go or a touchdown. However, on 3rd and 7 from the 33-yard line, the handoff from quarterback Jerry McClanahan to Jay Anderson was fumbled, and although the Lancers retained possession, their late miscue knocked them out of field goal range.

In overtime, Bishop Amat won the coin toss and deferred possession to St. Bonaventure, and in only four plays, the Seraphs scored on another one-yard touchdown run by Meyer. But the Lancers were unfazed by the Seraphs' quick score. On the ensuing PAT, Mason Kirk's attempt was blocked by the Lancers' rush, stunning the fans behind St. Bonaventure's sidelines, and sending the home crowd into an uproarious mania.

At first, things didn't look good for the Lancers on their offensive possession. After a two-yard run by Anderson on first down, the Lancers were penalized with a holding call on the next play, pushing them back to the 28-yard line and setting up a 2nd and 13.

However, as was the tale of the game, the Lancers were unfazed and answered back once more behind yet another big play from Darien Johnson. On second and long, Johnson ran a post corner route and McClanahan hit him to set up a first and goal at the three-yard line.

The Seraphs defense held strong, stuffing the Lancers' first three running attempts, but on fourth down and with the game on the line, Jay Anderson took the handoff left behind his line and into the endzone to tie the game at 23-23 with the extra point coming.

Senior kicker Alex Ragsdale, who was setting up for arguably the biggest PAT of his young career, hit the ball squarely between the uprights to give the Lancers the win, and gave the home crowd an excuse to clear the bleachers and rush the field.

The Lancers remain undefeated at 4-0 and travel to Pomona to take on the Diamond Ranch Panthers in what is a Saturday evening matchup. St. Bonaventure's 10-game win streak comes to a halt as they fall to 4-1. It was the Seraphs' first loss since last October's defeat to Long Beach Poly. They have a bye this week but will face the San Marcos Royals on October 16th.

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