Knights lost far from home

Football: St. Francis High suffers 42-28 nonleague loss to Paso Robles.

October 09, 2010|By Grant Gordon,

PASO ROBES — Yet again, the St. Francis High football team turned in a stagnant performance early.

And once more, a frenzied Golden Knights rally wasn't enough.

St. Francis lost its second straight game on Friday night, falling to host Paso Robles, 42-28, and leaving the Golden Knights with plenty of questions to answer with the start of Mission League play just a week away.

"It's hard to put my finger on what it is," said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, whose team, ranked fifth in the CIF Southern Section Western Division, fell to 3-2 with a league opener against powerhouse Gardena Serra awaiting Oct. 16. "It obviously didn't seem like we were ready to play in the first half."


St. Francis was down by 14 at the half and behind 28-7 late in the third quarter before the Golden Knights offense finally got going, but once more it was too late.

"We kept shooting ourselves in the foot," said Bonds, whose team was victimized by costly penalties, dropped passes and just an overall lack of execution in the early going.

Paso Robles (3-2) overcame a 7-0 deficit early in the second quarter and ran off the game's next 28 points, largely due to the hands and feet of quarterback Jacob Searcy (18 of 25 passing for 277 yards and four touchdowns and 97 yards rushing in 10 carries) and receiver Elias Stokes (eight catches for 114 yards and two scores), who caught his 10th and 11th scoring passes of the year in the second quarter.

"They had a nice game plan," said Bonds of the Bearcats.

Part of that game plan came with a steady blitz on defense that hounded Golden Knights quarterback Brett Nelson for five sacks. Perhaps it was no coincidence that three-year starting tackle Patrick Carroll missed his second straight game.

"They did a lot of different things," said Bonds, whose team lost to West Ranch, 35-34, despite 20 fourth-quarter points. "I'm not gonna make excuses, but obviously we'd love to have Patrick out there."

Nelson still did his part in trying to lead a St. Francis comeback that saw the Golden Knights down, 28-7, late in the third quarter. The senior quarterback completed 18 of 26 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns, while adding a rushing score.

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