It started out as a Friday the 13th horror show for the Lancer faithful, but the Bishop Amat Lancers were able to overcome a 16-point deficit to rout Norco 72-36 in the opening round of the CIF playoffs at Kiefer Stadium.
It looked like it was going to be a long night for the the Lancer defense as Norco quarterback Victor Viramontes easily led the Cougars on an opening drive score and two point conversion to take an 8 point lead. The Lancers promptly fumbled the ball away on their first play from scrimmage and the Cougars converted the turnover into a score for a 16-0 lead with 3:28 left in the first quarter.
While the trio of quarterback Damien Garcia, wide receiver Tyler Vaughns, and running back Torreahno Sweet kept the Lancers within striking distance, it was defensive back Clarence Carter, III who turned out to be the inspirational spark with an interception of a Viramontes pass. Little Big Man Carter made a fantastic return of the errant pass for a 47-yard touchdown to even the score at 23-23.
ROUND 1 CIF PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHN BOESEN (OF TYLER AND ALYSON BOESEN FAME).
There was still no stopping Viramontes as he led the Cougars to another score to take a 30-23 lead with 6:30 left in the half. The ensuing kickoff turned out to be the play where the Cougars picked the wrong time to wake up the sleeping giant, as Carter almost broke one with a 32-yard return. Unfortunately, Carter took a hard hit on the play and was knocked out of the game. The Cougars were hit with two unsportsmanlike penalties on the return. It was a scary moment, but Carter was able to to walk off the field on his own power.
It was wide receiver Trevon Sidney's turn to get in the act, as he evened the score at 30 with a scoring strike from Garcia.
Possibly it was losing Carter that inspired the defense as they started to get to Viramontes to force the first punt of the evening. The Lancers took the lead with another score by Sweet. With another big defensive stop, the Lancers got the ball back with 1:50 left in the first half. Human Highlight Film Vaughns continued to amaze, scoring on an 18-yard grab to widen the lead to 44-30.
The defense once again came up big, and the Cougars made the mistake of giving the Lancers the ball back with 35 seconds left in the half. That's all Garcia needed to find Sidney on a long bomb to take a 51-30 lead into the half.
The second half belonged to the Torreanho Sweet Express as he scored two more times to break the single season Amat TD record. The final knockout blow came on a 16-yard pass from Garcia to Sidney.
The Lancers showed resilience and the ability to overcome adversity. The game was a true test of character and the Lancers passed with flying colors of Blue and Gold.
It's only going to get tougher as the Lancers move into the CIF quarterfinals, taking on Oaks Christian at Kiefer next Friday. The Best Ticket in Town just keeps getting better. Until next week. Go Big Blue!
P.S. Liberté, égalité, fraternité
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.