Servite High School won a football game it probably shouldn’t have when the Friars beat Long Beach Jordan, 9-8, Thursday night before 800 spectators in Santa Ana Stadium.
“We had a little letdown,” Servite Coach Jerry Person said. “It was kind of difficult coming off of a game like Crespi.”
Last week, Servite defeated Crespi, 35-20, in a game matching the top running backs in the Southern Section--Russell White of Crespi and Derek Brown of Servite.
In winning Thursday night’s nonleague game, Servite had to rally from an 8-0 deficit in the fourth quarter. The Friars also had to get along without the usual contributions from Brown, Orange County’s leading rusher. The Jordan defense, with 10 players bunched along the line, limited Brown to 21 yards in 12 carries.
It took a 47-yard field goal by Greg Dovidio with 3:27 left to give the Friars (5-0) the winning margin.
For 3 1/2 quarters, Jordan (0-4) pitched a 2-0 shutout at Servite and dominated the game with its defense.
With the ball at the Servite 2 in the first quarter, Friar quarterback Chris Johnson crashed into Brown attempting a handoff and fell into the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Jordan lead.
Jordan had several chances to pad the score but couldn’t until Johnny Robinson, the Panthers’ speedy running back, dived over from a yard out with 8:39 left in the game.
However, the Panthers’ Ted Ramirez misfired on a two-point conversion pass and Jordan led, 8-0.
With the help of two penalties, Servite drove 73 yards for a touchdown on its next series. Johnson ran 8 yards around left end for the score. His two-point conversion run came up short and the Friars trailed, 8-6, with 7:37 left.
Servite held Jordan and, after a short punt, took over on the Panther 47. The Friars got as far as the 34, but on fourth down Dovidio came out to try a 51-yard field goal. He missed, but Jordan was offside, giving him a second chance.
This time, from 47 yards out, Dovidio kicked the ball through to give Servite a 9-8 lead.
“Jordan did a heck of a job on defense,” Person said. “They had 10 men up on the line. That made it hard to run. Chris Johnson came through with some clutch passes. He was by far our best guy on offense.”
Johnson was 9 of 16 for 114 yards.