Crespi’s Brown Gains 176 Yards as Servite Falls
Leonice Brown, a junior tailback, broke two long touchdown runs to lead Crespi to a 13-10 nonleague victory over Servite on Friday night at Pierce College.
Brown’s 28-yard touchdown run with 3:19 left erased a 10-6 deficit and sent the Crespi sidelines into a celebration. Brown finished with 176 yards in 16 carries.
Brown admitted he was flattered with a comparison to Derek Brown, the former All-Southern Section back from Servite, but said he was striving for a different comparison.
“I’d rather be matched up with my nephew, Russell,” he said.
Brown spent much of last year watching Russell White run wild for the Crespi. This season, the showdown involved Crespi’s Brown and Servite quarterback Rob Walker.
For a while, it appeared that Walker and the Friars (1-3) would walk away with their third straight victory over Crespi. Walker completed nine of his first 10 attempts and finished 22 of 41 for 275 yards. He was intercepted twice, both times by Ken Kraus. Kraus’ first interception, early in the fourth quarter, squelched a good scoring opportunity for Servite. With the Friars at the Crespi 22, Kraus stepped in front of a Walker pass at his own 11 and returned it to the Crespi 43.
Walker, a senior, misfired on seven of his last nine attempts, including his final three after marching Servite down to the Crespi 12 in the final minute.
Servite had an opportunity to tie on the final play, but Servite Coach Larry Toner elected to go for the touchdown, rather than a field goal, on a third-down situation at the 12.
Walker never had a chance. He was hit by Crespi’s Frank Romano as he released and the ball fluttered harmlessly to the ground.
Afterward, Toner defended his decision to go for the win.
“Isn’t that the name of the game,” he said. “We play to win. It’s obvious to me. We didn’t come down here to tie.”
Crespi Coach Tim Lins agreed.
“I think that any coach would have done the same thing in that situation.”
Servite had taken a 3-0 into halftime on a 37-yard field goal by Jeff Gardner.
Servite increased the margin to 10-0, when Walker scored on a one-yard bootleg on the team’s first play from scrimmage in the second half.