Tate Haynes, the quarterback for San Diego Cathedral and the son of NFL Hall of Famer Michael Haynes, was in tears. His team had survived a final play to pull out a 35-28 win over Harbor City Narbonne on Friday night in a CIF Football Regional Division 1-AA bowl game on a cool night in San Diego.
“It’s hard not to be emotional,” Haynes said. “So much hard work has gone into this season and this team is so special.”
It took a sack of Narbonne quarterback Jalen Chatman on the game’s final play on the Cathedral Catholic 17-yard line to finally put an end to Narbonne’s wild comeback bid from 21 points down in the third quarter. Anae Moroni and Jack Cavellier came blitzing through the line to never let Chatman have the chance to release the football.
Up in the stands, Tate’s father, Michael, a City Section Hall of Famer who starred at L.A. Marshall High, was feeling equally emotional.
“This was a great game,” the elder Haynes, a star with New England and the Raiders, said. “Both teams played their hearts out.”
Tate, headed to Boston College, received advice from his father that he uses every game.
“Begin with the end in mind and die empty,” he said. “That’s something I live by.”
Tate passed for 143 yards and one touchdown and ran for 79. Shawn Poma rushed for 174 yards in 26 carries and scored four TD, including a 25-yard run with 1:01 left to break a 28-28 tie.
Tate ran the wing-T offense to precision and helped the Dons build a 28-7 lead in the third quarter.
Then Narbonne rallied, tying the game at 28-28 on a 13-yard touchdown catch by Tyrone Marshall with three minutes. Then Haynes directed the game-winning drive.
Narbonne hurt itself with too many penalties (over 100 yards). There was nearly 1,000 yards in total offense by the two teams combined. Chatman completed 30 of 45 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a school-record 52 touchdown passes.
The Dons (14-0) seemingly broke open the game in the third quarter. Haynes threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Lee and Poma ran 33 yards for another touchdown, his third of the game, for a 28-7 lead. Each touchdown came after a partially blocked punt.
Cathedral has five players on its roster whose fathers played in the NFL: Haynes, John Lynch, Eric Allen, John Carney and Rick Mirer.
Cathedral will face Stockton St. Mary’s in next Friday’s state 1-AA final at Sacramento State.