LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — In recent seasons, the St. Francis High and Chaminade football teams have had their share of close contests.
The last two had been decided by less than a touchdown. In only proved fitting that the teams would once again battle into the final minute to determine a winner.
his time around, St. Francis High football team found itself on the wrong end of a last-minute comeback.
Terrell Newby scored on five-yard touchdown run with 55.1 seconds remaining to power visiting Chaminade to a 29-26 Mission League win against St. Francis on Friday nigh at packed Friedman Field.
In last season's meeting, St. Francis won in the final minute to earn a 32-25 win at Chaminade.
"Every time we've plated them since I've been here, with the exception of one or two games, it's been extremely close," said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, whose team scored 23 unanswered points to take a 26-22 lead in the third quarter. "They have some good athletes, and we just couldn't rally it up in the last [55 seconds].
"It's tough losing four games in a row and having two league losses, but I think we have the people who can fight their way out of it. You just have to tip your hat to Chaminade."
St. Francis fell to 3-4, 0-2 in league. Both league loss have come against Gardena Serra and Chaminade, which are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the CIF Southern Section Western Division.
The Eagles (7-0, 2-0) began their winning drive at their own 27-yard line with 3:07 remaining. Quarterback Logan Scott completed a pair of long passes, including a 25-yard strike to wide receiver Will Noonan that got the ball inside the St. Francis 20 with 1:20 left. Two plays later, Newby ran to the left to put the finishing touches on the victory.
St. Francis had one last opportunity, but it turned the ball over on downs at its own 39-yard line with 16.6 seconds remaining.
"We were trying to get the game into overtime and have Ian Sternau kick a field goal," Bonds said.
Chaminade, which topped St. Francis for the fifth time in the last six meetings, took an 8-0 lead on a three-yard run and a two-point conversion by running back Devon Lee to make it 8-0 with 6:06 remaining in the first quarter. The Eagles then scored on their next possession when Lee broke free on a five-yard run to extend the lead to 15-0 with 48.4 seconds left in the opening frame.
"I thought we just came out a little sluggish and I'm not really sure why," Bonds said. "Maybe it was a carry over from the Serra game, but I'm proud of the way we battled back."
After Sternau booted a 24-yard field goal with 4:41 remaining in the second quarter to cut Chaminade's lead to 15-3, Scott then connected with wide receiver Kevin Lewallyn on a 60-yard touchdown pass to make it 22-3 less than two minutes later.
With 42 seconds left in the first half, St. Francis quarterback Brett Nelson (16 of 31 for 213 yards) tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Travis Talianko to make it 22-10.
The Golden Knights cut the deficit to 22-17 on a two-yard run up the middle by fullback Luke Anderson with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Nelson then tossed an eight-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Talianko to give the Golden Knights a 23-22 lead with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter.
St. Francis defensive end Michael Singelyn intercepted a Scott pass at the Chaminade 22-yard line, setting up a 34-yard field goal by Sternau to make it 26-22 with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
Talianko, who caught the winning touchdown pass in last season's contest against Chamiande, finished with a team-best seven catches for 83 yards.