SAN DIEGO — Mike Bennett's one-yard run in overtime gave Point Loma High School a 13-7 victory over Mt. Carmel in a San Diego Section 3-A semifinal game Saturday night at Mira Mesa High School.
That means the Pointers (11-0-1) will meet City Eastern League rival Morse in the championship game Saturday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
Earlier this season, Point Loma beat Morse, 14-13, to win the league championship. And when Morse beat Mount Miguel Friday night, there was already talk of a rematch.
But first Point Loma had to get by Mt. Carmel. And for much of the game, it didn't appear that Point Loma would be able to do it.
Mt. Carmel scored on Chris Beeman's two-yard quarterback sneak for a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter and made the lead stand up until the final minute of regulation play.
"I'll tell you, I was awfully worried," Point Loma Coach Bennie Edens said. "I really think they deserved to win."
And Mt. Carmel (9-1-1) would have won except for a remarkable 45-yard pass from Bennett to sophomore tight end Brett Callan with two minutes remaining that set up the tying score.
"I just brought that kid (Callan) up from junior varsity last week," Edens said. "Amazing, huh?"
His catch was.
With 2:08 left in regulation, Point Loma took over on its 47. Bennett scrambled left and threw a desperation pass down the left sideline toward Callan, who was well-covered by John Tejcek.
As the ball arrived, Callan appeared to shove Tejcek and the Mt. Carmel defender fell down. Callan caught the ball and fell out of bounds at the eight-yard line.
"He (Tejcek) wasn't even looking at the ball and he was all over me," Callan said. "I had to push him in order to catch the ball."
There was a flag on the play, but the call was pass interference on Tejcek. Point Loma declined the penalty (15 yards from the line of scrimmage) and had first and goal with 1:55 left.
Bennett was stopped for no gain on first down and Kelby Downey gained seven yards on a second-down run. After Bennett threw incomplete, Point Loma was faced with fourth and goal from the one.
Edens called timeout with 55 seconds remaining and instructed Bennett to hand off to tailback Louis Guillory over right tackle.
Guillory scored, and T.J. Linardi's extra point tied the score, 7-7.
Mt. Carmel ran out the clock after the ensuing kickoff and the teams headed to a tiebreaker, in which each teams gets four plays to score from its opponent's 10-yard line.
Mt. Carmel got the ball first, but three plays gained only six yards. Sundevil Coach Bill Christopher disdained the field goal. On fourth down, Beeman rolled right and passed incomplete into the end zone. Beeman completed only 3 of 16 passes for 14 yards. Mt. Carmel managed 85 yards of total offense.
Downey gained 6 yards on first down and Guillory gained three yards on second down. On third down from the one, Bennett scored on a quarterback sneak to send the Pointers to the championship game.