You don't pull on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don't tackle Serra quarterback Khalil Tate out of bounds on a vital third down stop in the fourth quarter with a tenuous four point lead, as the Bishop Amat Lancers found out in their 41-38 loss to Serra Friday night.
With that controversial personal foul call giving the Cavaliers new life, Tate broke a 50-yard touchdown run to give Serra the go ahead points and a first place standing in the Mission League. The Lancers fall behind Serra who remained undefeated in league play.
Tate proved to be a one-man wrecking crew, scoring three touchdowns on long runs and throwing two long passes up for grabs that fell into Serra hands for scores.
The Lancers still had a chance, getting the ball back with two minutes left. But a lost Lancer fumble proved to be an anticlimactic end to a dramatic, but ugly, game. The contest was marred by more unsportsmanlike penalties than you can throw a yellow flag at.
A case could be made of a bad officiating in the game. There were so many missed holding and blocks-in-the-back calls every time Tate scrambled in the backfield that the referee looked liked a perfect candidate for Lasik. If some of the numerous calls hadn't gone against Serra, one would think this might be a case of homer officiating.
On a global warming fall evening, the Lancers started out cold and sluggish. The vaunted offensive machine was definitely misfiring. Tyler Vaughns proved to be mortal as he dropped two easy passes in the first half, including one that quarterback Damien Garcia threw to him with a wide open field in front of him. Important lesson: catch, then run. He made up for it later in the game making some nice catches and scoring once on a reverse.
While the Lancers offense had their share of miscues, it was the Torreanho Sweet Express that kept them in the game. Sweet scored three times and also ran in a two point conversion. It seemed that the Lancers could move the ball at will with Sweet, but drives would stall when they tried to use their other weapons.
Other than letting Tate make five big plays, the Lancer defense played a solid game. They were able to shut down ten of the eleven men on the Cavalier offense.
The Lancers definitely can play big boy football with the best in the area. They have proven to be capable of coming back. In their two losses this season, they have overcome early game miscues to put themselves in a position to win. They have just not been able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the waning moments of a game like a true team of destiny. It's close, so close you can feel it.
Will the Lancers get their mojo back? Can they overcome this heartbreaking defeat to still win League? Can they stop the big play-makers?
They are back at Kiefer Friday, October 16, for their Homecoming Game against Bishop Alemany. All you alumni should come back for 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.