Richard Milne's 23-yard field goal attempt with 15 seconds remaining fell short as Kennedy High School lost for the 17th straight time, 15-14, to Anaheim Thursday night in front of 2,000 in Glover Stadium.
The Irish haven't won a game since they defeated Katella, 31-20, in October 1985, but they appeared to be headed for a big upset when quarterback Pete Montera threw a 17-yard pass to Jerry Libell for a first down at Anaheim's three-yard line with 37 seconds remaining.
After two plays, in which Kennedy gained one yard, Milne tried a 17-yard field goal with 19 seconds left. The kick was good, but the play was nullified by an illegal procedure penalty, moving the ball back five yards.
The snap was good on the second attempt, and Milne received only slight pressure from Anaheim defender Cuauhtemoc Garcia, but he squibbed the kick and the ball barely flew over the line of scrimmage.
The loss left Mitch Olson, Kennedy's first-year coach, nearly speechless. When approached by reporters afterward, all Olson could do was point to Anaheim Coach Ted Mullen and say, "Go talk to him, he won the game." Olson then ran off the field.
Anaheim (2-1) needed a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Dan Pacillas to tight end Jason Gold with 6:28 remaining to pull out the win. The Colonists trailed, 14-7, but Joaquin Garcia's second touchdown--a 15-yard run--moved them to within a point and then Pacillas made the play of the game.
Pacillas, starting his first varsity game, faked a handoff to Garcia and then calmly threw a perfect pass to Gold in the right corner of the end zone for a 15-14 lead. Pacillas completed 6 of 13 passes for 92 yards in his debut.
Garcia was impressive, gaining 171 yards in 27 carries and catching 2 passes for 55 yards. He scored the Colonists' first touchdown on a 53-yard run early in the second quarter. Anaheim defensive back John Clovery also had a big game, intercepting three passes.
"We're so young and inexperienced that we're going to make some mistakes," said Mullen. "The potential is there, but we have to learn so much. In the last two weeks, we had a lot of opportunities and we've muffed them.
"Give Kennedy some credit. They a great job of preparing for this game and that was a tough loss for them."
Montera completed 16 of 33 pass attempts for 235 yards in a losing cause.
In other nonleague play:
Katella 35, Orange 6--Jeff Pastorello and Jeff Yourstone rushed for two touchdowns each and Yourstone threw another to Pastorello for Katella (2-1) at El Modena High School.
Pastorello scored on runs of one and two yards in the first quarter as Katella opened a 14-0 lead. Yourstone scored on a run of 44 yards in the third quarter and a 36-yard run in the fourth quarter as Katella opened a 28-0 lead.
Orange's only score came on a 41-yard pass from Scott McMahon to Paul Maund. Orange is 1-2.
Katella's final score came in the fourth quarter on a five-yard pass from Yourstone to Pastorello.