Lancers Dance the Knight Away
By Andrew Smith
San Diego (10/26/2013) – The scene on campus for Francis Parker’s homecoming was an absolute circus Saturday afternoon that would’ve even made the Ringling Brothers proud. The stands were packed for their big rivalry game against Bishops, but beyond the field you could see hundreds of others – apparently not interested in the Coastal League tilt – climbing rock walls, jumping in astro jumps, clowns making balloon animals and kids sliding down a big inflatable slide.
The Lancers’ student body were all donning shirts that said “Lights Out Knights Out” on the back, but on the front it read “Get Loko” and what they saw take place on the football field definitely turned into one crazy contest.
Bishops put the pedal to the metal, but eventually ran out of gas. For the third time this season the Knights ended the game running on fumes and thanks to forcing 5 second half turnovers, Francis Parker outlasted them with a 35-21 win.
“Our offense was not at its best today and a lot of that had to do with their defense,” said an exhausted Lancers’ head coach JOHN MORRISON. “It’s really a lot like a pitcher in baseball though. You’re not always going to have your best stuff, but you gotta try and find a way to win.”
It began like most of the Parkers’ (8-0, 2-0 Coastal League) games have gone this year as they scored on their opening drive. Junior QB/DB KHALEEL JENKINS split the defense for a 32-yard touchdown run and it was ho-hum until the Knights (5-3, 0-2) responded with a 14-play 80-yard drive, ending with a BULLA GRAFT 4-yard touchdown run.
Sure the Lancers’ defensive game-plan to stop the shifty Graft seemed simple enough, but few-and-far between opponents have been able to stop the human highlight reel.
“He’s a real threat on every single play,” said Parker’s senior linebacker MILAN MARRERO. The team captain leads their defensive unit in tackles this season, but tackling Graft is one huge chore within itself. “You don’t want to give him any open space so our focus was to try and eliminate that as much as possible.”
While the Knights were still celebrating on the sidelines AYMAN MAYBERRY was busy taking the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to the house for a 14-7 lead to end the first quarter.
“Anytime you get a special teams touchdown it’s huge,” Morrison noted. “Add to that a defensive score, with our offense struggling the way it did and it becomes even bigger.”
Bishops’ defensive line play was solid all game between CYRUS NOLAN, DANIEL ANDERSON, BLAKE DORVILLIER and STEVIE HINSHAW. In fact, the high-octane offense of Parker was held to just 202 total yards thanks to the entire Knights’ D.
Graft topped that all by himself, finishing the game rushing for 243 yards on 27 carries and A. J. BRITANICO had 22 touches for 97 yards. Each scored a touchdown and REGGIE DAVIS scored the Knights’ third on a 3-yard score, but two costly fumbles and three interceptions eventually sealed their fate.
The first pick was the real killer…
With the score knotted up at 21-21 and 9 minutes remaining in the game Bishops was coming off a huge defensive fourth down stand. However, Jenkins jumped in front of a errant throw and raced 30 yards for what ended up becoming the game-winning score.
“Playing quarterback definitely helped me out on that one,” grinned Jenkins. “I saw him looking my way pre-snap and he tried to look me off, but once I saw the out route I just jumped it. That really gave us a lot of energy at that point.”
DEVIN HORNE and Mayberry provided the other two late-game interceptions. JORDAN HEATH-GENMARK scooped up a fumble and returned it 27 yards, while Jenkins stripped the ball out of a Knights’ running back and recovered it himself. JIMMY EHRENFELDT and JESSE BROOKINS each had a sack. NOAH GAMBOA notched two of his own and added a 50-yd TD run to seal the deal.
“With our offensive struggles we knew we had to step up and make a lot of big plays on defense,” added Marrero.
The gym on the campus was completely decked out for the night’s homecoming dance in the theme of “Haunted Homecoming” and after staying undefeated in a hard fought game you know the Lancers are going to dance the night away…
. 1 2 3 4 F
Bishop’s 7 7 7 0 21
Francis Parker 14 0 7 14 35
FP – Jenkins 32 run (Schmid kick)
B – Graft 4 run (Alleyne kick)
FP – Mayberry 91 kickoff return (Schmid kick)
B – Davis 3 run (Alleyne kick)
FP – Abernathy 48 pass from Jenkins (Schmid kick)
B – Britanico 1 run (Alleyne kick)
FP – Jenkins 30 interception return (Schmid kick)
FP – Gamboa 50 run (Schmid kick)
PASSING – B – Seaman 5-17-3-18-0 FP – Jenkins 4-10-0-73-1 RUSHING – B – Graft 27-243, Britanico 22-97, Allred 2-6, Davis 1-3, Seaman 5-minus25 FP – Gamboa 3-63, Brookins 12-36, Jenkins 11-22 RECEIVING – B – Hagestad 2-8, Case 1-11, Allred 1-2, Graft 1-minus3 FP – Heath-Genmark 2-23, Abernathy 1-48, Mayberry 1-2 KICKOFF RETURNS – B – Britanico 1-20, Allred 1-19 FP – Mayberry 2-107, Heath-Genmark 1-49 PUNT RETURNS – FP – Abernathy 1-10 PUNTING – B – Alleyne 4-146 FP – Schmid 5-183 INTERCEPTIONS – FP – Jenkins 1-30, Horne 1-0, Mayberry 1-0 PENALTIES – B – 3-15 FP – 8-50 FIRST DOWNS – B – 15 FP – 5
Tagged aj britanico, ayman mayberry, bishops, blake dorvillier, bulla graft, cyrus nolan, daniel anderson, devin horne, francis parker, jesse brookins, jimmy ehrenfeldt, john morrison, jordan heath-genmark, khaleel jenkins, knights, lancers, milan marrero, noah gamboa, reggie davis, stevie hinshaw