The Bishop Amat Lancers' running game proved to be too much Sweet for the previously undefeated Oak Christian Lions. Friday night, Torreahno Sweet rushed for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, leading the Lancers to a 61- 40 victory and giving them a return trip to the CIF semifinals.
The contest started in predictable fashion as the Torreahno Sweet Express accounted for most of the Lancers' 76 yards on their opening drive. Sweet finished it with an 11-yard scamper for the first score of the evening.
The first quarter belonged exclusively to the Lancers as they took advantage of a Lion fumble on a fake punt and good defensive stops to take a 21-0 lead. Sweet scored on a 77 yard dash to give the Lancers a 35-13 lead at the half.
While it seemed like the Lancers were going to run away with the game early on, the Lions did put a scare in the Lancer faithful, clawing their way back to within five points in the third quarter, courtesy of the offensive firework provided by senior receiver Michael Pittman. The Lancers had a very difficult time stopping Pittman, who scored on a 99-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter, for one of his five touchdowns for the night.
Eventually, the Lancers were forced to put Human Highlight Film Tyler Vaughns on Pittman. The two outstanding seniors - both wearing number 1 – fought to a draw with Pitman scoring on a 29-yard strike and Vaughns grabbing an interception in the fourth to all but seal the victory.
The night was eventually very Sweet for the Lancers as the Express and his convoy of offensive blockers provided the big difference in the game, giving the Lancers their last home game victory of the season to finish undefeated this year at Kiefer stadium. If there was a high school Fantasy Football League (which if it ever comes to pass, remember you read it here first), Sweet would definitely have been a first round pick.
CLICK AN IMAGE TO ENLARGE & VIEW ENTIRE GALLERY. ROUND 2 CIF PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHN BOESEN.
Often lost in the Amat trifecta of Sweet, Vaughns and Trevon Sidney is quarterback Damien Garcia who threw for three touchdowns and scored on a 55-yard run. Garcia's arm and his legs make him as dangerous as they come. He is a double threat, with the ability to thread the needle (14-yard TD to Sidney) and break a long run (final Amat TD score of the night.)
A special shout out to the O-Line. The Big Boys have provided some great holes and downfield blocking for Sweet all season long. It's no wonder Sweet smashed both single season rushing and TD school records.
The defense has gotten better in stopping the run and rushing the quarterback. Linebacker play is strong. The pass defense was missing Little Big Man Clarence Carter, III, but Mathew Gonzales did his part filling in, making some good stops. Big playmakers like Pittman have been the defense's Achilles heel this year and they will have to step up big as the stakes get higher.
Next up is second ranked St. John Bosco in the CIF semifinal next Friday. The Lancers will now be in the underdog role the rest of the journey. Will they rise to the occasion? It's going to be a blast finding out because Amat football remains the Best Ticket in Town. Until next week, Go Big Blue!
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.