Can the high school football season produce any more excitement and drama than what transpired Friday night?
From Orange County to the San Fernando Valley, there were upsets and amazing performances.
There was Santa Ana Mater Dei knocking off No. 1 Santa Margarita, 24-7. There was Lake Forest El Toro upsetting No. 4 Tesoro, 41-31. There was Sherman Oaks Notre Dame stunning No. 12 Encino Crespi, 40-34, in four overtimes. There was No. 9 Bellflower St. John Bosco holding off JSerra, 44-41, in overtime.
And, at Mission Hills Alemany (7-1), perhaps the best offensive unit in Southern California was rolling up touchdowns in nonstop fashion. The Warriors scored on their first six possessions, then almost lost the lead before pulling away for a 56-35 victory over La Puente Bishop Amat in another wild Serra League game.
Quarterback Devon Dunn completed 22 of 35 passes for career-best 385 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Desean Holmes caught seven passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, including an 83-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter just after Bishop Amat (5-1-1) had closed to 42-35.
How good is Holmes?
“I’m already telling my coaches at USC to look out for him,” said USC-bound receiver Steven Mitchell, who rushed for 106 yards and caught five passes for 53 yards and one touchdown.
Bishop Amat junior quarterback Koa Haynes completed 21 of 32 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown. Darren Andrews caught 10 passes for 130 yards.
Alemany appeared to break the game open starting at the end of the second quarter when Brandon Boyd intercepted a Haynes pass to set up a 25-yard touchdown reception by Holmes with 11 seconds before halftime and a 28-14 Alemany lead.
To start the third quarter, Devin Ross caught a 79-yard touchdown pass for a 35-14 lead. Then the Warriors recovered an onside kick, and Deshone Randall scored one of his two touchdowns on a one-yard plunge for a 42-14 lead. End of game, right?
No way. Bishop Amat charged back. Dionza Blue scored on a five-yard run. Sal Valasquez caught a five-yard scoring pass. And after a Christian Wiley interception, Andrews scored on a nine-yard run, making it 42-35 with 9:49 left. That’s why Holmes’ 83-yard pass play was so devastating for the Lancers.
“Desean Holmes is an unbelievable football player,” Coach Dean Herrington said.
And it was an unbelievable night in the season’s seventh week. Alemany’s offense was near perfect in the first half in opening a 28-14 halftime lead. The Warriors scored on all four of their possessions and twice picked up first downs on fourth-down situations.
Mitchell had a 19-yard touchdown catch and a 50-yard scoring run. Holmes caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Dunn with 11 seconds left in the second quarter. Dunn was 13 of 21 for 153 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.