ANAHEIM — Katella running back Francis Johnson rushed for 191 yards in 31 carries with one touchdown to lead the Knights over Kennedy, 17-14, in a Empire League opener Thursday at Glover Stadium.
The Knights (4-2, 1-0) appeared to be in control of the game late in the fourth quarter after Juan Martinez hit a 29-yard field goal, to make the score 17-7, with seven minutes 30 seconds left.
However, the Fighting Irish (3-3, 0-1) scored less than a minute later, when quarterback Gabriel Roman connected with Ryan Roberson on a 77-yard touchdown pass to pull Kennedy within, 17-14, after Aaron Lewis' extra point. Roman was eight of 14 for 184 yards.
Katella could do nothing with its next possession and was forced to punt. Kennedy drove to the Katella 13, but Roman missed on two passing attempts.
The Fighting Irish were forced into trying a 30-yard field goal to tie the score, but Lewis' kick fell short with 1:54 remaining in the game and Katella ran out the clock by handing the ball to Johnson.
Katella Coach Dominik Unger said it was his team's night to win.
"We did everything wrong you could think of near the end, but it just came out right for us," Unger said. "The defense stood up for us at the end and that was the difference."