Thursday, October 6, 2011
No. 8 Bishop Amat 38, Venice 35
By Blair Angulo
VENICE -- Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty trusted the process, which included giving Jalen Moore his carries. And more carries. And then some more.
The senior tailback rushed for 214 yards in a whopping 38 carries Friday night, scoring three touchdowns to help the Bishop Amat Lancers fend off a pesky Venice team, 38-35. Moore's final score gave Amat a 10-point lead with 2:11 to go. It took Venice only 52 seconds to respond, with standout receiver Gabriel Marks hauling in a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it a three-point game.
The Lancers covered up the onside kick and Moore, rather fittingly, milked the clock with a handful of bruising runs.
When informed that he had 38 carries on the night, Moore's eyes got big.
"I like that. No, I love that," he said.
Hagerty did too.
"Gosh," Hagerty said. "I just know he runs the ball hard. He's our guy, I guess. He always comes up big for us. Thank God we have him."
Amat (5-1), the No. 8 team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings, was in trouble when it trailed 21-7 late in the first half. Marks, verbally committed to play at Southern Methodist, lined up behind center, in the wildcat formation, and blew through a hole for a scintillating 89-yard score that gave the Gondoliers (1-4) a two-touchdown edge.
The large Amat crowd was silent but it was as close as Venice got to the upset.
Moore scored from five yards out with 36 seconds remaining in the first half to give his team momentum heading into the locker room. Receiver Adam Sanchez tied it, 21-21, early in the third quarter on his second reverse run of the game.
Hagerty stuck with the process from there, pounding the ball between the tackles and utilizing quarterback Rio Ruiz for quick, low-risk throws.
"That's what I'd do if I was playing us," Venice coach Angelo Gasca said. "You don't want to be throwing the ball near Marks and those guys. They'll take it and once they get it they know exactly what to do with it. Their game plan in the second half worked."
Marks was the standout on the other side, posting 131 receiving yards, 112 rushing yards and three total touchdowns.
Ruiz finished with an efficient 97 passing yards, completing 17 of 25 attempts. Of Moore's 214 yards, 159 came in the second half. He had 29 carries after the break.
In all, Moore has piled up 847 yards and 12 touchdowns in the four games since Amat lost to Servite, 49-14, on Sept. 9.
"That Servite loss was tough for us," Moore said. "It showed us that we needed to improve."