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Paraclete Brings Down Big Bear to Reach Division X Semifinals, 25-0

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Jesse Loa returned the second-half kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to break open a close game and Paraclete High shut out Big Bear, 25-0, Saturday in a Southern Section Division X quarterfinal.

Paraclete, which was awarded an at-large bid to the playoffs despite finishing fourth in the High Desert League, plays host to Orange Lutheran in the semifinals Saturday night at Antelope Valley College.

“This is like redemption for us in a lot of ways,” said Paraclete Coach Steve Hagerty, whose team lost to three teams ranked in the division by a total of 12 points during the regular season. “We’ve had bad breaks go against us all season, so we decided to make our own breaks.”

Sal Iabichella scored twice in the third quarter, catching a nine-yard pass from Ben Joyce to put Paraclete ahead, 19-0, and adding a three-yard run.

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Lance Austin gained 125 yards in 17 carries and Iabichella ran 12 times for 121 yards for the Spirits (7-5).

Rob Benson of Big Bear (9-3), who had thrown for 1,658 yards and 22 touchdowns, was weakened by flu and completed just eight of 18 passes for 39 yards.


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