PALMDALE — With 1:16 left on the clock in a nonleague football game between St. Francis High and Paraclete, the Golden Knights trailed by five points and sat 15 yards away from the end zone in hopes of taking the lead.
Facing fourth down and nine, St. Francis quarterback Jack Clougherty looked to his right and launched the ball to receiver Tanner Tomko. The pass fell incomplete. The Golden Knights then turned the ball over on downs and the Spirits took over on the 15.
As a resultm St. Francis dropped its final nonleague game of the season in a 38-33 loss to Paraclete at Palmdale High on Friday, as the Spirits took advantage of multiple miscues committed by the Golden Knights.
Clougherty finished with 25-of-40 passing for 317 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, while Tomko caught five passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Golden Knights running back Kevin Armstead had 24 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown, receiver Bryson Reeves caught 10 passes for 100 yards and wide-out Adam Barakat had two catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Paraclete quarterback CJ Montes completed eight of 17 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown and running back Amir Bankhead carried the ball 18 times for three touchdowns and 130 yards. Spirits receiver Nicholas Wyatt caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Paraclete scored on its opening drive with a 21-yard run from Jayloe Wilson at 10:24 in the first.
The Spirits struck again on the first play of their second drive when Montes connected with Nicholas Wyatt at 6:30 for the 14-0 lead.
St. Francis (5-2) cut the Paraclete lead to 14-6 with 4:35 left in the quarter on a 37-yard pass from Clougherty to Barakat.
A 36-yard run from Bankhead set him up for a four-yard score for the 21-6 lead with 8:09 left in the half.
With 1:51 left in the half, Clougherty found Evan Jernegan for a 23-yard touchdown catch to make it a 21-13 score at the break.
Paraclete (5-3) got on the board in the second half on a three-yard run from Bankhead to take a 28-13 lead before the Golden Knights responded on their next drive with a 10-yard touchdown catch from Tomko to cut it back to an eight-point gap.
The Spirits added to their lead on a 25-yard field goal with 48.6 left in the third after the Golden Knights muffed the punt attempt at the Paraclete 5-yard line.
The Golden Knights fumbled the ball and it was recovered on their 42 with 9:29 left and seven seconds later, the Spirits scored on a 42-yard run the next play to take a 38-20 lead.
St. Francis responded on its next drive with a 36-yard connection from Clougherty to Tomko to cut the Paraclete lead to 38-27 with 8:13 remaining, before cutting it to a five-point deficit on Armstead’s one-yard run with 5:22 left.
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