Upset after missing a 44-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter, Sean Sehnem received a pep talk from an assistant coach, then provided the decisive points Friday night, making a 17-yard field goal with five seconds left to give Encino Crespi a 17-15 victory over Gardena Serra in a Del Rey League game that probably decided the title.
The victory puts Crespi (7-1, 3-0) in command of the league race and speaks plenty about the rebuilding job accomplished by third-year Coach Troy Thomas. Three years ago, the Celts went 0-10. Now they are two wins away from their first league title since 1991.
"It's been a long 2 1/2 years, but it sure is nice right now, and the program is definitely on the rise," Thomas said.
Crespi had a 14-3 lead at halftime, keyed by a 64-yard touchdown run from quarterback Kevin Vollmer on the second play of the game.
The Cavaliers (5-3, 2-1) started slowly but rallied in the fourth quarter. Short touchdown runs by Emmanuel Robinson and Terry Wilson gave Serra a 15-14 lead with 4:43 left.
Vollmer then guided Crespi from its 33 to the one-yard line.
On fourth down, Sehnem made his game-winning field goal. "I was trying to calm down," he said.