It had to happen sometime. St. Francis High had been shut out in its past 2 games and in the first 2 quarters against Alemany on Saturday night.
Then the Knights scored, and scored, and scored again to turn a 3-0 halftime deficit into a 19-9 Del Rey League and homecoming victory.
The win snapped a 2-game losing skid for St. Francis (3-5, 1-1 in league play) and knocked Alemany (3-5, 0-3) out of playoff contention.
But it wasn’t easy for the Knights.
They had to keep their first scoring drive alive on a fake-punt play in which Jeff Dyrek ran 5 yards on fourth and 4 at the Knight 47. Three plays later, quarterback Erik Hagge emerged from a cluster of 5 defenders and scampered 38 yards to the Alemany 6. Peter Morales ran in for the score on the next play.
Sound easy? St. Francis received a few more breaks after Morales’ touchdown. First, Alemany missed a 38-yard field-goal try.
Five minutes later, St. Francis linebacker Fred Hughes recovered a fumble by Tyler Robuck in the Knight end zone.
The Indians began the drive at their own 27. Six plays later, after Robuck broke outside for 68 yards in 5 carries, the Knights made a goal-line stand. Alemany decided to send Robuck up the middle and each time he was stopped.
Alemany was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on the demoralizing fumble, then wilted on a 70-yard St. Francis drive. Francisco Diaz scored from 2 yards to move the Knights ahead, 13-3.
“They seemed to let down,” St. Francis Coach Terry Terrazone said. “And we lifted our intensity.”
Alemany outgained St. Francis, 312 yards to 183, but the Indians could manage only a 21-yard field goal by Andy Cicoria and a touchdown on the last play of the game.
Robuck rushed for a game-high 144 yards in 27 carries and quarterback Joey Rosselli completed 10 of 18 passes for 156 yards. Diaz led the Knights with 86 yards in 23 carries.