By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Bishop Amat started slow again, but followed the same script, rallying from 14 points down to post a 38-35 victory on the road at Venice Thursday behind another stellar performance from running back Jalen Moore, and a couple reverse touchdown runs from Adam Sanchez.
Moore was a workhorse, carrying it 37 times for 219 yards and three touchdowns, and Sanchez scored on two reverses, a 17 yard TD that gave Amat an early 7-0 lead, and a key 48-yard TD run early in the third quarter that tied the score, 21-21, after the Lancers trailed 21-7 midway through the second quarter. Amat, ranked fifth in the CIF-SS Pac-5 Division, improved to 5-1 while Venice dropped to 1-4.
Game story: San Dimas 42, Nogales 6 — The Saints impressed Aram so much that he wrote, “they might be the best team in the division RIGHT NOW.” Looks like the Saints and Aram’s opinion of them have made a dramatic turnaround since the season opener.
Game story: South Hills 31, Los Osos 28 — Los Osos lost to undefeated Orange Lutheran by only two touchdowns, and lost to Vista Murrieta by only nine points, the same team that beat Crespi by 18. When you mention Amat, Charter Oak, West Covina as the area’s top three, the Huskies aren’t too far back. I heard QB Danny Sheehan took care of business and kicked the game-winning 27-yard field goal with 10 seconds left, but the fact is the Huskies won without their starting QB Vincent Hernandez, who played receiver because of his injured shoulder. So you tell us, who do you like next week, Charter Oak or South Hills?
Game story: Bishop Amat 38, Venice 35 –With the advantage Amat has with Jalen Moore, who finished with 219 yards and three touchdowns, it shouldn’t be this close. Amat can score, they scored last year and they’re scoring this year. But if they don’t start getting more three-and-outs, more pressure on the QB and better push off the line, they’ll have a tougher time coming back against teams in the Serra. It’s finally here, defending champ Alemany in town next week.
“We can’t keep doing that,” Moore said of the slow starts. “I don’t know why it takes us so long, but the teams only get better from here. We need to start better and not put so much pressure on ourselves.”
Alex Gutierrez gave Amat its first lead of the second half on a 24-yard field goal to go up 24-21, two minutes into a wild fourth quarter.
The Lancers got a break when a tipped pass was picked off by Rio Ruiz and returned to the Venice 20. A few plays later, Moore scored his second touchdown, plowing in from a yard out and 31-21 lead with 7:42 left.
Venice receiver Gabriel Marks, who had seven receptions for 150 yards, caught a 65-yard pass for a touchdown that gave the Gondoliers life again, trailing 31-28 with 7:04 left.
But Moore came through in the final minutes, converting two big fourth-down runs and finishing the drive with a one-yard TD, his third of the night to stretch the Lancers’ lead to 38-28 with 2:11 left.
Venice scored again late on Marks’ 25-yard touchdown reception with 1:19 left, but the Lancers were able to hold it from there.
Marks scored three touchdowns, two receptions and one on a spectacular 89-yard run.
“They scored a lot of points,” Amat coach Steve Hagerty said. “We have to get better defensively and correct the mistakes we’re making. Hopefully that happens soon.”
Trailing 7-0, the Gondoliers came right back, forcing Amat offside on fourth and short to keep their drive alive, marching 80 yards on 15 plays capped by Lamar Moody’s one-yard touchdown to tie the score, 7-7.
An Amat three-and-out gave the Gondoliers good field position at the Lancers’ 40, and they marched again.
After quarterback Alexander Diamont converted a 20-yard pass to Marks to the five, Moody took it in two plays later, scoring from a yard again for a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
With Venice pinned on its own 11 facing third-and-nine, Marks took the ball out of the wildcat, shook a tackler and was gone up the left side, racing 89-yards for a touchdown and 21-7 lead.
Fortunately for the Lancers, they were able to trim the Gondos’ lead in half at the break.
Ruiz kept the drive alive, converting two third-and-long passes — a 14-yard pass to Dionza Blue, and a 14-yard pass to Joseph Cook. That set up Moore’s 5 yard touchdown with 36 seconds left in the half to trim Venice’s lead to 21-14.
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B Amat 7 7 7 17 — 38
venice 7 14 0 14 — 35
BA: Adam Sanchez 17 run (Alex Gutierrez kick)
VE: Lamar Moody 1 run (McLean Emanuel kick)
VE: Moody 1 run (Emanuel kick)
VE: Gabriel Marks 89 yard run (Emanuel kick).
BA: Jalen Moore 5 run (Alex Gutierrez kick).
BA: Sanchez 48 run (Gutierrez kick)
BA: Gutierrez 24-yard field goal.
BA: Moore 1 run (Gutierrez kick)
VE: Marks 65 pass from Alexander Diamont (Emanuel kick)
BA: Mo0re 1 run (Guetierrez kick)
VE: Marks 25 pass from Diamont (Emanuel kick)
Records: Bishop Amat 5-1; Venice 1-4