LA PUENTE – If a doctor could prescribe a diagnostic test to prove a football team’s well being, Friday’s 31-28 victory for Bishop Amat High School over Crespi would be the blueprint.
You don’t learn much from blowouts. You don’t learn much from weak nonleague schedules. But you learn plenty when a heart is put on a treadmill and has stress applied to it.
That’s the medical equivalent of what happened to Amat in its Serra League opener on Friday night.
The Lancers walked into the doctor’s office for their latest checkup full of confidence. At 6-0, everything looked and sounded fine. Amat was the picture of health and continued to be just that as it stormed to a 17-0 first-half lead behind a defense that seemingly knew what play Crespi’s high-powered offense had called before each snap.
Then, right before halftime, something didn’t feel right. Crespi got back in the game with a touchdown just seconds before the break.
That was just the start of a 21-0 run by the Celts that had Amat coughing like a sick baby. Literally coughing, as in what the Lancers did with the ball on fourth-and-goal from inside the Crespi 1 with a chance to take the lead late in the third quarter.
What was once a stadium of sure-headed fans certain their team was well on its way to a win in the biggest game of the season, became concerned family members of the suddenly ill patient.
Trailing 21-17 entering the fourth quarter, Amat’s season was on the line. Starting out 0-1 in the Serra League with games against Loyola, Notre Dame and Alemany still to come isn’t quite a flat line, but probably good cause to get warmed up for some CPR.
The regenerative process began with a return to basics. That meant a large dose of Jalen Moore that Crespi just couldn’t swallow. Moore got Amat the lead back with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Next, the defense came roaring back to life by forcing Crespi into a three-and-out. After that, it was more of Moore and another 4-yard score to put Amat on the radar of every Pac-5 hopeful.
The fourth quarter is when Pac-5 Divsion football teams either stamp themselves as contenders or pretenders.
The X-rays never lie and Friday night they revealed something that will surely be needed again in the next heavyweight throwdown – a healthy heart … one Amat can rely on when everything else is a little under the weather.
It was a healthy win, indeed.