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St. Francis football turned aside by No. 2 Calabasas in first round

CALABASAS — Its first time competing in the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs proved to be a short one for the St. Francis High football team.

A season removed from advancing to the Division III championship game, St. Francis was moved to Division II after the CIF Southern Section office realigned all 13 divisions.

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St. Francis received a tough first-round draw when it traveled to face second-seeded Calabasas in a first-round game Friday.

St. Francis had no answers against powerful Calabasas, which scored on all four of its first-half possessions en route to a convincing 49-7 victory.

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St. Francis (6-5) entered the playoffs following a second-place finish in the Angelus League. Calabasas, which won CIF championships in 2015 and 2016, took second in the Marmonte League.

“It’s a hard division and we knew that going in,” St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “All the games within our division in the first round were going to be toigy and that’s a good team over there.

“We had a couple of opportunities in the red zone and we didn’t come away with anything. It’s tough right now and we have a pretty young team.”

Calabasas received a huge effort from quarterback Jaden Casey, who completed 10 of 13 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns while playing just the first half.

The Coyotes took a 7-0 lead on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Casey to Mycah Pittman with 9:39 left in the first quarter.

Calabasas extended its advantage to 14-0 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Casey to Nolan Smith with 6:06 to go in the first quarter.

St. Francis had a golden opportunity to cut into the deficit on the ensuing possession, marching to the Calabasas 8-yard line. However, St. Francis quarterback Darius Perrantes, the reigning All-Area Football Player of the Year, was intercepted by Jared Hopper with 37 seconds to go in the first quarter.

The Coyotes capitalized on the turnover, getting a 54-yard touchdown pass from Casey to Johnny Wilson to extend the advantage to 21-0 with 11:20 left in the second quarter.

St. Francis marched into the red zone, resulting in a first and goal on the 3-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.

Calabasas made it 28-0 on a 52-yard run on fourth down by Johnny Williams with 1:31 remaining in the first half.

“Had we been able to convert on those chances, it’s a different game at 21-7 or 21-14,” said Bonds, who got 180 yards rushing in 28 carries from Kevin Armstead.

Calabasas took a 35-0 lead when Pittman caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Lamont Narcisse with 5:04 to go in the third quarter.

Jermaine Burton hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Narcisse to extend the lead to 42-0 with 4:24 left in the third quarter.

Carl Dawson of Calabasas then scored on an 80-yard run to make it 49-0 with 1:37 to go in the third quarter.

St. Francis closed out the scoring with 24 seconds to go in the fourth quarter on a three-yard run by Bradley Pierce.

Perrantes completed 11 of 26 passes for 130 yards and three interceptions.

Williams had 103 yards rushing in four carries for Calabasas, which finished with 310 yards of offense.

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