LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Failure to score in the second half of Saturday night's 41-14 Mission League-opening loss to visiting Gardena Serra High ultimately doomed the St. Francis football team.
But a big play within the final seconds of the first half loomed as large as any in the Golden Knights losing their grip on what they had been able to turn into a tight game in the second quarter.
Having closed the gap with the CIF Southern Section Western Division top-ranked Cavaliers to 20-14 at the 3:27 mark of the second quarter after falling behind by three scores inside of the first 16 minutes, St. Francis (3-3) got burned on a post route for a 35-yard touchdown with just 16.3 seconds remaining in the half.
"It was huge as far as the momentum of the game," St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds said. "We had crawled back in at 20-14. …They got behind us on a post and made it 27-14 and got the momentum back and we knew we were kicking to them to open the second half, so that was tough."