No. 25 Chaminade 36, No. 20 N.D. 32
October, 7, 2011
By Sean Ceglinsky | ESPNLosAngeles.com
WEST HILLS -- They will remember this one for a while.
Chaminade did seemingly everything in its power to blow what appeared to be an insurmountable lead at halftime Friday night against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
Questionable play calling. Countless mistakes on special teams. Unnecessary timeouts. You name it and the Eagles somehow, someway, committed the wrong doing.
In the end, however, Chaminade managed to figure things out.
Scoring a pair of touchdowns with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter certainly helped out matters. And turning away one last-gasp effort by the visiting Knights as time expired enabled Chaminade to escape with a 36-32 nonleague victory
“There is no quit in this team, no way'' Chaminade coach Ed Croson said. “We gave Notre Dame plenty of chances to win this game. We almost self-destructed. We knew it was going to be a fight though and we weren't going to back down. This was a big, big win.''
Indeed it was a big win for Chaminade (4-1), ranked No. 25 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings. Notre Dame (5-1) figures to fall from its No. 20 spot next week.
Chaminade's Logan Scott scored on a nine-yard touchdown to cut the Notre Dame lead to 32-29 with 1:56 left. And when Cory Harris and Isaiah Bernard recovered the subsequent onside kick, the Eagles were in business near midfield.
Chaminade handed the ball over to its workhorse, Terrell Newby, the rest of the way. He scored on a one-yard run with 15 seconds left for the game's final margin. All told, the 5-foot-10 junior had 141 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“We never gave up hope in this one,'' Newby said. “This team has a lot of spirit, a lot of fight in it, and I think we proved that to everyone out there tonight.''
Notre Dame trailed 21-3 at intermission.
Lucas Alfonso kicked a 25-yard field goal, Kelly Hilinski scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Khalfani Muhammad found the end zone on a seven-yard run of his own to give Notre Dame its first lead of the game, 25-21, with 7:17 left.
In between, the Eagles muffed two punts.
“Mistakes almost ruined things," Croson said.
With Newby running the ball well in the second quarter, Chaminade decided to open things up through the air. Scott connected with Elijah Dunston on a 33-yard touchdown pass to extend the advantage to 21-3 with 9:43 left in the first half.
Trailing by two touchdowns toward the end of the first quarter, the Knights rallied behind Muhammad. He turned a pass in the flat into a 56-yard gain. All of a sudden, it was first-and-goal inside the Eagles 10-yard line.
Muhammad finished with 84 yards and two touchdowns.
Unfortunately, the Knights could not find the end zone. Turned away at the goal line a couple of times, they had to settle for a 29-yard field by Alfonoso to cut the deficit, 14-3, with 11:56 remaining in the second quarter.
Sam Hardy recovered a fumble in the first quarter and Chaminade had good field position, at the Notre Dame 38-yard line. Minutes later, the Eagles capitalized when Newby scored on a one-yard run to extend the lead, 14-0, at 5:14.
The Eagles went with their bread and butter, Newby, early on. He picked up 28 yards on the ground during the first drive and capped things off with a three-yard touchdown run to give Chaminade a 7-0 lead with 9:52 left in the first quarter.
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.