An improbable comeback for Garces fell just short in a thrilling loss to La Canada-St. Francis Saturday night at Sam Tobias Field.
Despite a 36-0 run for the Golden Knights to open the second half, Garces had a shot at a comeback before Travis Plugge’s final throw was intercepted by Alejandro Ramirez at the 1-yard line as St. Francis held on for a 48-42 win over the Rams.
Garces led 28-14 at the half despite running just 16 offensive plays in the first half.
Junior linebacker Logan Bowers ran a fumble recovery back 56 for the first score of the game for Garces (1-1) as Zion Hall scored twice before halftime on a 90-yard kick return and caught a 27-yard pass from Plugge.
But St. Francis (2-1) running back Max Garrison was an unstoppable force, rushing 39 times for 263 yards and four touchdowns as the Golden Knights led 48-28 with 9:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Then Plugge, who threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns, scored on a run from 16 yards out. Then sophomore Julian Smith recovered the ensuring onside kick for Garces.
The Rams scored on the drive on a 2-yard scoring run to cut the lead to 48-42 with 45 seconds to play.
Again, Julian Smith recovered the onside kick for Garces, but Plugge’s final pass ended the game as Ramirez ran the ball out.
Garces hosts state-ranked No. 8 Chatsworth-Sierra Canyon next Saturday at 5 p.m.
La Canada-St. Francis 48, Garces 42
At Sam Tobias Field
G – Bowers 56 fumble recovery (Gonzalez kick)
G – D’Amato 14 pass from Plugge (Gonzalez kick)
SF – Garrison 18 run (conversion good)
G- Zion Hall 90 yard kick return (Gonzalez kick)
SF – Garrison 1 run (conversion fail)
G – Zion Hall 27 pass from Plugge (Gonzalez kick)
SF – Garrison 11 run (conversion good)
SF – Garrison 2 run (conversion good)
SF – Reeves 66 punt return (conversion good)
SF – Ramirez 58 interception return (conversion good)
G – Plugge 16 run (Gonzalez kick)
G – Jernagin 2 run (Gonzalez kick)
GMHS: Jernagin 10-50, Plugge 8-59, Jalen Smith 3-13. SF: Garrison 39-263, Jacobs 8-59, Shannon 1-4.
GMHS: Plugge 15-27-2-165. SF: Jacobs 18-30-0-187.
GMHS: Jackson 5-34, Johnson 2-24, D’Amato 6-82, Zion Hall 3-47, Jalen Smith 1-(-1), Uphold 1-13.
W-L: GMHS 1-1, SFHS 2-1