While the Bishop Amat offensive juggernaut has been making all the headlines this 2015 season, it was the Lancers' defensive team's turn to take center stage in the last league game of the season, keeping Los Angeles Loyola out of the end zone for a 24-3 victory Friday night.
The defense recorded five sacks of Cub quarterback Sean O'Malley, Lancer cornerback Clarence Carter, III stopped a Loyola drive with a great interception and return, while Ricky Schneider recovered a fumble to bring another drive to a halt. The Lancers also blocked a field goal and made a big fourth down stop in the waning moments of the third quarter.
Coming off a bye week, it took the offense almost an entire half to get rolling. Tyler Vaughns got the first of his two touchdowns on a 21-yard pass from Damien Garcia in the final moments of the first half to give the Lancers a 10-3 edge.
The second half started with a Lancer 80-yard drive in less than two minutes. Torreanho Sweet accounted for most of the yardage, with runs of 20 and 34 yards, before taking it into the end zone with a 21-yard dash. The Torreahno Sweet Express finished the night with 163 yards on 27 carries.
Human highlight film Tyler Vaughns added one final clip to an outstanding 2015 season with a leaping catch in coverage for a 41-yard touchdown grab for the final score of the night.
After that, it was the Lancer defense going into shutdown mode. While it was a complete team effort, a few players exemplified the hit-and-hustle mentality of the squad. Linebackers Ricky Schneider and Mathew Terlizzi have definitely turned into a dynamic defensive duo. Free safety Tommy Chavez made some good open field tackles, while defensive end Kai Higgins made his presence felt on the pass rush. The most impressive sight of the evening was watching sophomore lineman Aaron Maldonado — all 6'3" and 296 pounds of him — fight off a block at the line of scrimmage, pursue a catch-and-run play across the field, and tackle the receiver from behind. Rumble, young man, rumble.
This contest was initially billed as a battle for second place in the Mission League. But with this victory and Serra's upset loss to Chaminade, the Lancers ended the night as League Co-Champions!
Next week: CIF playoffs. We told you. Amat football is the Best Ticket in Town.
Hugo is a contributing writer to the ConceptuaLine blog and an accomplished copywriter in both English and Spanish. Catch him on Friday nights supporting Lancer football.