West Hills Chaminade held Gardena Serra's powerful offense in check for most of Friday night, but that wasn't enough.
Serra, ranked No. 5 in the Southland by The Times, scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to rally to a 35-21 victory over the previously unbeaten Eagles.
"They gave us a scare, I can tell you that much," said Serra Coach Scott Altenberg. "It took a while for us to get going, but once we found our comfort zone, they couldn't stop us."
Penalties and sloppy play nearly prevented the Cavaliers (9-0, 4-0) from extending their winning streak to 24 games.
No. 21 Chaminade (8-1, 2-1) entered the fourth quarter with a 21-14 lead, threatening to score again with the ball deep in Serra's red zone. However, facing a fourth-down-and-one just three yards from a touchdown, Chaminade chose to go for it and failed.
Serra responded with 63-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Conner Preston to highly touted receiver George Farmer — who caught four passes for 78 yards — with 8:15 left in the quarter.
Then, after a defensive stop, Preston, who finished 11 for 18 with 298 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception, again went deep and found another touted receiver, Marqise Lee, for a 55-yard score to give Serra its first lead of the game with 3:25 left.
And after another defensive stop, Serra running back Shaquille Richard, who ran for 131 yards and two scores on 11 carries, scored from eight yards out to ice Serra's win with 1:54 left.
"We underestimated them, but we never doubted that we could do and made our comeback," said Lee, who caught four passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns of 74 and 55 yards.
— Baxter Holmes
Tre Madden rushed 11 times for 45 yards and one touchdown and completed six of 11 passes for 162 yards and another score as No. 1 Mission Viejo defeated host Mission Viejo Tesoro, 30-7, to take over first place in the South Coast League.
Dallas Kessman rushed for 83 yards in 23 carries and Bryan Keller caught seven passes for 191 yards for the Diablos (9-0, 3-0), who capitalized on several Tesoro miscues to build a 21-0 halftime lead.
Tesoro quarterback Matt Adam was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety that pushed Mission Viejo's lead to 23-7 with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter. The Diablos got the ball back at midfield and needed six plays to score on Kessman's 19-yard run to provide the final margin with 3:22 remaining.
Kyle Woodbright caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Matt Adam to pull the Titans within 21-7 with 2:58 left in the third quarter. Adam completed eight of 22 passes for 84 yards and Woodbright had six receptions for 74 yards for the
No. 15 Titans (7-2, 2-1).
Madden threw to Mack Powell in the end zone for a 15-yard score that gave Mission Viejo a 21-0 lead with 24 seconds left in the first half.
— Steve Galluzzo
Connor Loftus kicked a 53-yard field goal and Malik Felton and Jody Thomas each ran for touchdowns to lift No. 4 Servite (9-0, 4-0) to a 17-10 victory over No. 16 Santa Margarita (7-2, 3-1) in Trinity League play. … Richie Harrington connected on 14 of 24 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 10 Oaks Christian (7-2, 7-1) to a 45-0 victory over Marmonte League foe Newbury Park (2-6, 2-6).