Saturday Morning Quarterback: It happened, Bishop Amat knocks off two-time defending Div. III state champ St. Bonaventure, 24-23 overtime

CBS highlights of Bishop Amat’s victory
“Normally the guy that you (Robledo) interview has a terrible game. I told him you got to break that streak tonight. He was on the cover and he played a great game, so we can throw that one out. -- Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty on Darien Johnson, who we profiled on Thursday in the Tribune. Johnson scored on a kick return, interception, and his 25-yard reception set up the game winning TD in OT..
Note: Bishop Amat game story already in, click thread


The Blue Blur: Darien Johnson scored on a 91-yard kickoff return that gave the Lancers a 10-7 lead, then made a game-changing 84-yard interception that turned what would have been a 21-7 deficit into a 14-14 tie in the middle of the third quarter. He capped his night with a huge 25-yard reception in overtime to the Seraphs’ 3, which set up Jay Anderson’s game-tying one-yard TD run on fourth down, and the Ragsdale to Rich’s clutch extra-point clincher.

Friday’s results
Bishop Amat 24, St. Bonaventure 23, OT – Darien Johnson said it could be done, and he walked it. Say goodbye to the 14-game win streak. The No. 3 state ranking in CalHiSports, Maxpreps, and the No. 17 national ranking in USA today. For Bishop Amat, this is as sweet as it gets. The way back to prominence is through beating prominent teams, the second time they have done so in the Hagerty era going back to the Orange Lu. game.
Charter Oak 23, Damien 20 — This is much closer than anyone at Charter Oak thought it would be, and another scratch-your-head near miss for the Spartans.
Azusa 39, Bassett 18 — The Aztecs begins defense of the Montview league title with a convincing win over surging Bassett.
La Puente 62, Duarte 3 – Ouch, I don’t know if the Warriors are this good, of if the Falcons are really this ….. we’ll leave it at that.
Gladstone 20, Sierra Vista 14 — The Happy Rockers next meet Azusa in what could become the first big step toward a league title for both.
Glendora 16, Diamond Ranch 14 – The Tartans squeeze out another while the Panthers manage to lose another close one. DRanch can always say they were looking ahead to Bishop Amat.
Baldwin Park 35, El Monte 14 — The Braves are beating teams they’re supposed to beat, it’s that simple.
Montebello 35, Nogales 20 — The Nobles are going to have a very tough time in the San Antonio.
Keppel 36, Mountain View 0 — When it goes bad, it really goes bad.
Temple City 27, Rosemead 13 – The Panthers have fallen a long way since last year’s Mid-Valley championship-game run.
Ayala 44, South El Monte 7 – The Eagles need to rework that nonleague schedule next year.
South Hills 62, Northview 0 – If you say you didn’t see this coming, you weren’t paying attention.
Walnut 27, Arroyo 16 — The Mustangs remain undefeated with a solid win over the Knights.
West Covina 47, Los Altos 12 — The Bulldogs get back-to-back wins, getting ready for the San Antonio.
Wilson 42, Blair 0 -- With last week’s blowout loss behind, the Wildcats blow past Blair.

For quarter-by-quarter updates, click thread


Bishop Amat game story:
By Fred J. Robledo
LA PUENTE
- Who knows if and when Bishop Amat High School will return to state and national prominence, but more nights like this and it won’t take long.

Lancers coach Steve Hagerty thought visiting St. Bonaventure might not respect them enough and all week told his players on any night anything could happen, and it did.

The Lancers (4-0), listed as 24-point underdogs on CalPreps, pulled off a stunning victory by outlasting visiting St. Bonaventure 24-23 in overtime to snap the Seraphs’ 14-game winning streak.

“It’s another step,” Hagerty said. “It’s another step in the direction this program has to take. We didn’t play that great tonight, but we were great when we needed to be.”

St. Bonaventure (4-1) had the ball first in overtime and scored quickly on a 1-yard run by quarterback Logan Meyer. But the Lancers’ Davis Cazares blocked the extra point to give the Lancers a chance to win it on their own possession.

The Lancers were without an offensive touchdown the entire night and scored on Darien Johnson’s game-changing, 91-yard kickoff return in the first quarter and his 84-yard interception return in the third quarter that tied the score, 17-17.

Struggling to move the ball in overtime, quarterback Jerry McClanahan connected with Johnson on a 25-yard pass to the Seraphs’ 3-yard line.

After three Jay Anderson runs moved the Lancers to the 1, Anderson scored on fourth-and-goal on a 1-yard run. Alexander Ragsdale’s extra point made it official: the Lancers had knocked off the CIF-SS two-time defending Northern and Division III state champions, a team that was ranked No. 3 in California by Cal-Hi Sports, MaxPreps and No. 17 in the nation by USA Today.

“I told you we could do it,” Johnson said. “We might be smaller than everyone else, but we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

Johnson, knowing the Lancers were struggling on offense, said he wanted the ball.

“They told me to run a post corner,” he said. “I got there and Jerry got it to me. It was as simple as that.”

Meyer threw for 268 yards and running back Devon Blackledge rushed for 115 yards, but the Lancers got big plays when they needed them, which is why they won on a night when McClanahan completed just 9 of 20 attempts for 102 yards. Anderson was held to just 74 yards on 26 carries.

“We feel comfortable playing at home,” Hagerty said. “I hope they (wins) keep coming. We were opportunistic and we played a full game.

“Offensively we’re not that great, but we will figure it out and do whatever it takes to win.”

After stopping the Seraphs on their opening drive, the Lancers started on their own 1-yard line and moved downfield. They got 9- and 10-yard runs from Anderson, and a 23-yard pass from McClanahan to Nick Ramos.

The Lancers eventually finished the 13-play, 99-yard drive with Ragsdale’s 42-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with just 3:45 remaining on the clock in the first quarter.

Meyer led the Seraphs back with 11-, 10- and 30-yard pass completions, and the 11-play, 81-yard drive finished with Meyer’s 1-yard touchdown run and 7-3 lead.

It didn’t last.

Johnson, who returned a kickoff for a touchdown last week against Damien, did it again to regain the lead by going 91 yards up the sideline for a 10-7 lead with 11:08 left in the half.

The Lancers continued making the Seraphs work at a slow pace, but Blackledge’s 37-yard run and 23-yard completion by Meyer set up Michael Henderson’s 1-yard touchdown to give the Seraphs a 14-10 lead with 6:37 left in the quarter. Mason Kirk’s 37-yard field goal with one second left extended the Seraphs’ lead to 17-10 at the break.

Johnson’s second touchdown came as Meyer was hoping to stretch the Seraphs lead to 14, but Johnson stepped in and picked him off, returning it 84 yards for a touchdown to tie the score, 17-17 with 6:23 left in the third.

fred.robledo@sgvn.com

626-962-8811, Ext. 2161

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