Bishop Montgomery Coach Andy Szabatura knew that if tailback Niu Sale could surpass the 100-yard mark for the fourth time, his team would have a good chance to upset Servite Thursday night.
Sale finished the night with 170 yards on 30 carries. But his counterpart at Servite, tailback Derek Brown, scampered for 188 yards across a rain-slick Gahr High field and scored five touchdowns to lead host Servite to a 40-26 Angelus League win.
"Servite executed," Szabatura said, after his team's playoff chances were dealt a serious blow. "They made things happen and we didn't."
Bishop Montgomery (3-6, 1-3) made things happen in the first half. They led 14-7 at half time by virtue of some timely breaks and Sale's 77 yards on the ground.
The Knights scored first when Thomas Matter and Scott Saito downed a Bishop Montgomery punt at the Servite one-yard line. The good field position allowed Scott Altenberg to score on a quarterback sneak on the Knights' next possession.
Brown brought Servite back on the next drive and scored the first of his four rushing TDs on a one-yard burst over the middle.
Bishop Montgomery got another break in the second quarter when Servite outside linebacker Chris Melodia was flagged for a conduct penalty. Five plays later, Sale plunged across right tackle from the one.
Servite (6-2-1, 2-2) hammered back in the second half on the ground. Brown added TD runs of four and eight yards and broke away for a 52-yard touchdown on a sweep down the left sideline in the fourth quarter.
Brown had another TD in the third quarter when a Bishop Montgomery blitz turned his screen reception from Jason Frank into a 36-yard breakaway.
Sale, playing his fourth consecutive game at tailback since his broken right hand keeps him from the quarterback spot, rushed for two touchdowns. He threw for another TD, to flanker Andrew Zimmerman, in a fourth-quarter cameo appearance at quarterback.
Quarterback Frank also had a six-yard TD on a third quarter keeper sweep that gave Servite a lead it never relinquished.