Vastly improved Garces falls to SJM in Holy Bowl despite late rally

FRESNO – After not scoring for the first 10 quarter of the 2019 season, the Garces football team made the most of the final 24 minutes Saturday night in the 54th edition of the Holy Bowl at Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial.

With senior Joseph Campbell back in action taking every snap on offense, the Rams had a shot at the end zone with 12 seconds left in regulation, but Campbell was caught from behind and the Rams fell 28-21 to the Panthers.

“With Joe being back and having that spark being able to run and throw,” Garces coach Paul Golla said. “We are a really good football team. This is game 1 for (Campbell). I am very excited about the process. We are getting better every week. The goal is to win the last game in the playoffs and not the preseason. We believe in these guys.”

Garces got on the board for the first time this season on a 1-yard run by junior Jalen Smith with 4:11 left in the third to cut Memorial’s (3-1) lead to 7-6.

The Rams took the first lead in 2019 on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Campbell to Phillip Bradford.

The Panthers responded on the very next play from scrimmage to tie the game at 14-14 with 9:53 to play then Memorial took a 21-14 lead on a 49-yard scoring scamper by Jordan Hornbeak.

Garces responded with another 35-yard touchdown strike from Campbell to Bradford to tie the game at 21 all with 3:08 in the fourth.

The Panthers took the lead at 28-21 with 1:46 left on another long, 43-yard run by Hornbeak.

Garces got into the red zone with 13 second left on a 26-yard pass from Campbell.

But Campbell scrambled and was cut down on the run as time expired.

“We are not trying to play our best football right now,” Campbell said. “We are just trying to go full-gear to build up for that.

Campbell threw for 239 yards and the two touchdown passes to Bradford, who had 99 receiving yards for the Rams (0-3).