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Chaminade's Passing Does the Trick, 35-13


WEST HILLS — It seemed like a good idea at the time.

St. Francis High came into Friday night's Mission League showdown as an underdog to Chaminade and was determined to pull out all the stops at Chaminade.

So, on the game's first play from scrimmage, the Knights ran a fumblerooskie. Quarterback Brian Rucker subtly dropped the ball to the turf and guard Jason Tirre scooped it up and rambled for a 70-yard score.

"It was too bad we had to revert to that but we knew we were in a little over our heads," said St. Francis Coach Bill Redell, whose team was eventually overwhelmed, 35-13.

Shortly after that first play, the Knights found themselves in need of a life raft. Chaminade (7-2, 4-0 in league play), irritated by the trickery, scored four touchdowns before the half.

Dino Dinielli got the first Eagle points on a 66-yard reception from quarterback Tom Racius, who also threw first-half scoring strikes to tight end Gabe Crecion and wide receiver Tyler Fenwick. Jason Giovannettone added a six-yard run to put Chaminade up, 28-7, at the intermission.

"Their defense was a lot looser than I thought it would be," said Racius, who completed 13 of 20 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns. "Their defensive backs played off the ball a lot. The game plan was to run the ball, but we took what they gave us."

In the second half, Dinielli added a touchdown reception of 16 yards from Racius, and St. Francis tailback Darrin Maxwell answered with a four-yard run to close out the scoring.

Chaminade Coach Rich Lawson said St. Francis (4-4-1, 1-3) stacked the line with an eight-man front early-on, opening the way for receivers such as Fenwick and Crecion.

"They were looking to take away our bread-and-butter play (the toss to Giovannettone) and gave us the pass," Lawson said. "Each week we get better at throwing the ball."

Giovannettone gained 106 yards in 19 carries in only three quarters, and fullback Brandon Gray added 61 yards in five carries.

John Carnevali of St. Francis completed eight of 15 passes for 89 yards, and Maxwell rushed for 35 yards in 14 carries.

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