The Holy Cross Crusaders overcame a sputtering start to pull out a narrow 21-20 win over the Hugh Boyd Trojans in high school senior boys class AA football action in Richmond Friday.
Will Gladwell returned opening kickoff for 75 yards for a touchdown to spot the Crusaders with a 7-0 lead. Holy Cross then went dormant until the second half when they found themselves trailing 13-7 with time running out.
The Crusaders came to life when the defence blocked a Hugh Boyd punt.
Sam Garzitto scooped up the ball and raced 55 yards to tie the game at 13.
Hugh Boyd answered with another converted touchdown to regain the lead at 20-13 but the Crusaders were fully engaged by that point. On their next possession, Rocky Shah found Gladwell with a 25-yard scoring pass to cut the gap to a single point. Rather than kick a convert to tie the game, the Crusaders went for two and were rewarded when Lucas Ciampelletti ran the ball in to make the count 21-20.
Hugh Boyd's still had three minutes of clock to work with but their hopes ended when Antonio Mendoza intercepted a pass to seal the win.
"We had 200 yards of penalties in the first half and you're not going to win games like that," said Holy Cross coach Ken Buchan. "We were lucky we were still in the game at that point but we made some big plays that kept us in it. In the second half we straightened up and taken any dumb penalties - we just played football."
In other class AA action, the Seaquam Seahawks dug themselves a huge hole they were unable to climb out of in a 40-22 loss to the South Delta Sun Devils.
"We were somewhat apprehensive in the first half and maybe played them a little soft," said Seaquam coach Jerry Mulliss. "We played them much tougher in the second half and while we won the second half, we have to win both halves to be successful.
"They're a very good team but to be honest, we made them look good in spots. Our tackling was bad. We allowed them to get outside and do some things and make big plays that could have been stopped with better tackling. We helped them out a lot in the first half but we were much better in the second half."
Mark Lego led the Seaquam offence with 187 yards rushing and two touchdowns plus a two-point convert.
Keegan Lensink caught a 12-yard TD pass from Adam Dobie for the other Seaquam major.
Lensink also led the Seahawk defence with 10 tackles.
In class AAA action, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers were left pondering one that got away after they were blanked 13-0 by the Terry Fox Ravens Friday.
Both Ravens touchdowns hinged on Panther mistakes in a game where each team turned the ball over four times.
The first Fox TD was scored when the Tweedsmuir defensive back attempted to jump an out pattern to grab an interception. He missed on the gamble and the Terry Fox receiver was able to walk untouched into the end zone.
Trailing 7-0 at the half, Lord Tweedsmuir fumbled the opening kickoff and the ball was recovered by Terry Fox deep in Panthers territory. The Ravens scored on the next play to push their lead to 13-0.
Jamel Lyles was the top back for Tweedsmuir with 81 yards on 14 carries.
On defence, Tyler Campbell finished with nine tackles and two quarterback sacks while Brendan Kennedy checked in with eight tackles and a sack
"We played quite well defensively and our special teams were good, we just couldn't capitalize on the offensive opportunities we had," said Panthers coach Kurt Thornton. "In a tight, defensive game like that, scoring chances don't come too often but when they do, you have to be able to capitalize. We failed to hit some open receivers and we had some breakdowns on blocking assignments and we came away with nothing."