Late field goal lifts Orange Lutheran football past Edison
Orange Lutheran High junior kicker Dieter Kelly made the most of his second chance.
Kelly missed an extra point early in the fourth quarter wide right, leaving Orange Lutheran a point short against Edison in Friday’s nonleague football game at Orange Coast College.
But he came up big in the game’s final minute.
His 34-yard field goal provided the Lancers with their only lead as they pulled out a 23-21 victory over the Chargers.
“He just repeated what he does in practice,” Orange Lutheran quarterback Logan Gonzalez said. “We had faith in him the whole time.”
After Kelly made the field goal with 54 seconds left, Edison’s last-ditch effort got the ball to the Orange Lutheran side of the field.
Chargers quarterback Parker Awad hooked up with Malachi Pierce on a 37-yard pass to the Lancers’ 43-yard line, but they couldn’t get closer.
It was a gutsy effort from Edison (1-2), which suffered its second loss to a Trinity League team this season after falling to Servite in the opening game.
The Chargers were without playmaking receiver Nico Brown the entire second half Friday, coach Jeff Grady said. Grady said Brown, last year’s Sunset League Offensive Player of the Year who did not have a catch in the game, was nicked up but did not elaborate on the injury.
“Nico Brown is one of the top guys in the county,” Grady said. “He’s a big-time player, we missed him, but other guys stepped up. Our kids played hard. We talked about having a great attitude and great effort, and they had both of those tonight. We just came up short.”
Brown provided Edison great field position after taking the opening kickoff back 87 yards. The Chargers cashed in, with Awad hitting tight end Austin Grbic on a five-yard touchdown pass.
Grbic, a defensive end, played big on both sides of the ball, also recording 2½ sacks.
Orange Lutheran (3-0) responded on its opening drive, with Gonzalez’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Faraday.
Edison again took the lead in the second quarter on a one-yard pass from Awad to Peyton Gregory, but the Lancers again responded on a one-yard touchdown run by Desmin Jackson just before halftime.
An eight-yard touchdown run by Troy Fletcher in the third quarter gave Edison back its touchdown advantage. The Chargers kept a one-point lead, 21-20, after Kelly missed the extra point.
Edison then went on a long drive that ate up more than seven minutes. Tucker Tripp’s great catch over the middle provided Edison with a first-and-goal at the Orange Lutheran three-yard line.
But four plays later, the Chargers couldn’t punch it in. After a two-yard run, quarterback sack on a low snap and incomplete pass, Fletcher’s run was stopped at the one on fourth-and-goal. The Lancers took over with 4:17 left.
“Those are the tough decisions,” Grady said of deciding to go for it rather than kick a field goal. “I felt like we were moving the line of scrimmage, our guys were playing good up front.
“We took four shots at it and didn’t get it. I could second-guess myself to death, but I felt like that was the right move at the time, to make them go 99 yards. And they did.”
Tripp had six catches for 79 yards, playing well as the No. 1 option in the Chargers’ passing game in Brown’s absence, while Awad completed 13 of 17 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
His lone interception wasn’t his fault, as the pass was bobbled, allowing Orange Lutheran’s Xane Uipi to step in and snag it.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Grady said. “It was an unbelievable team effort.”
Edison plays at Palos Verdes (0-2) on Friday at 3 p.m. It’s an afternoon game because Palos Verdes doesn’t have lights at its stadium.
Orange Lutheran 23, Edison 21
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Edison 7 – 7 – 7 – 0 — 21
O. Lu 7 – 7 – 0 – 9 — 23
E – Grbic 5 pass from Awad (Preston kick), 10:28.
OL – Faraday 24 pass from Gonzalez (Kelly kick), 7:20.
E – Gregory 1 pass from Awad (Preston kick), 8:16.
OL – Jackson 1 run (Kelly kick), 0:03.
E – Fletcher 8 run (Preston kick), 4:10.
OL – Jackson 9 pass from Gonzalez (kick failed), 11:22.
OL – Kelly 34 FG, 0:58.
E – Fletcher, 18-64, 1 TD.
OL – Jackson, 19-93, 1 TD.
E – Awad, 13-17-1, 157, 2 TDs.
OL – Gonzalez, 16-23-0, 212, 2 TDs.
E – Tripp, 6-79.
OL – Jackson, 6-90, 1 TD.
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