If Servite High School’s undefeated record was going to come to an end Friday night, it’s fitting that it would happen against St. Paul.
St. Paul, led by quarterback Greg Willig and running back Eugene Valdez, defeated Servite (6-1, 1-1 in the Angelus League) for the third consecutive time with a 34-18 victory at Santa Fe Springs.
St. Paul (5-2, 1-0) scored the first 3 times it touched the ball. Willig hooked up with flanker Steve Corpus for a 39-yard touchdown pass, then drove the Swordsmen 80 yards in 9 plays on St. Paul’s next possession. Willig capped that drive with a 6-yard pass to tight end Sam Valero.
Then St. Paul put the ball on the ground, driving 77 yards, mainly on the hard-nosed running of tailback David Melendrez, and scored on Valdez’s 1-yard lunge.
Servite trailed, 20-12, at halftime. The Friars scored on tailback Derek Brown’s twisting 25-yard run and a 41-yard bomb from Chris Johnson to split end Oscar Ford with 56 seconds left in the half.
But Valdez put the game out of reach when he returned the opening kickoff of the second half 97 yards for a score. Valdez took a reverse from Bruno Serrano, slashed across the field, and broke 3 tackles down the right sideline to the end zone.
After that, Servite’s offense stagnated. The Friars managed another score on a 7-yard pass from Johnson to Ford, but Brown was held to 78 yards in 16 carries.
“We stunk,” first-year Servite Coach Jerry Person said. “They played good defense, but we stopped our own offense.”
Meanwhile, Valdez scored his third touchdown on a 4-yard counter play. He finished with 77 yards in 17 carries. Willig completed 11 of 20 passes for 189 yards.