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St. Francis High football stopped in semis by Serra

November 29, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • St. Francis' Dylan Crawford is hit after making a catch against Serra in the first half of a CIF Southern Section semifinal football game at St. Francis on Friday. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
St. Francis' Dylan Crawford is hit after making…

LA CAÑADA — A 30-yard heave into the end zone from St. Francis High quarterback Ty Gangi to receiver John Carroll thrown into double coverage fell incomplete with just over a second remaining on a fourth and five, which ended a brilliant season and a colossal upset bid Friday night.

PHOTOS: St. Francis vs. Serra in CIF playoffs

With the turnover on downs, visiting Mission League champion Serra, ranked No. 6 in the nation by Calpreps.com, survived and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Western Division title game via 22-14 semifinal victory at Friedman Field.

“We gave everything we had and it just wasn’t enough,” said St. Francis sophomore receiver Dylan Crawford, who hauled in four catches for 62 yards. “It’s tough to go out this way.”

The Golden Knights (10-3) had advanced to their first divisional semifinal since 2005 and pushed the Cavaliers (13-0) for a second time this season. Top-ranked Serra will face No. 2 Chaminade in next week’s final.

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The contest appeared over when Cavaliers junior running back Darrion Naylor (27 carries for 141 yards and one touchdown) punched in a six-yard score with 40.4 seconds remaining to give the visitors a 22-14 advantage.

Yet, the Golden Knights blocked the ensuing extra-point try and then advanced from their 34 to the Cavaliers’ 30 with 8.5 seconds remaining thanks in part to a 31-yard pass play from Gangi (13 for 29 for 144 yards and one touchdown) to Crawford.

St. Francis’ final tying attempt seemed remote after Serra’s Glen Ihenacho sacked Gangi, the final of four sacks by Serra, with 8:47 left in the game to give the Cavaliers a 16-7 advantage.

The Golden Knights didn’t buckle, though, instead relying on their stout defense to hold Serra to minus-seven yards on its next possession and a punt.

St. Francis’ offense, which hadn’t picked up a first down in five previous second-half possessions, came to life with an 11-play, 69-yard drive capped on a nine-yard floater into the end zone from Gangi to Carroll with 4:04 remaining which, after a point after, brought St. Francis within 16-14.

The touchdown stopped a 16-0 second-half run for Serra, which tied the game at 7 on a three-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Jalen Greene (25 carries for 193 yards and two touchdowns) with 10:09 left in the third.

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