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Paraclete Ambushes Defending Champion

Football: Spirits jump ahead early to down St. Bonaventure, 42-16.

September 13, 1997|MIKE BRESNAHAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LANCASTER — Tough way to begin a title defense.

St. Bonaventure, the defending Southern Section Division X football champion, slipped, sputtered and stalled in a 42-16 loss Friday to Paraclete at Antelope Valley College.

Two Seraph pass attempts, two Spirits touchdowns. Combined with senior running back Dominic Washington's 19 carries for 168 yards, and Paraclete was too much for St. Bonaventure.

St. Bonaventure exchanged business cards with trouble on the first play from scrimmage when sophomore Chris Lombardo connected on a pass--right to Paraclete linebacker Rob McShea, who returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.

On the Seraphs' next possession, Lombardo threw his second interception with his second pass attempt. This time, Tommy Breech returned the ball 41 yards to make it 14-0 Paraclete.

The game was only 1 minute, 51 seconds old.

"Shoot, two defensive scores, that's a great way to do it," Paraclete Coach Steve Hagarty said. "It's just super."

Paraclete was equally effective on offense.

Three plays into the Spirits' first series, Washington squeezed through a hole on the left side and sprinted down the sideline 78 yards for a 21-0 lead.

The Spirits even converted a flea-flicker pass. Rich Caton hauling in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Robbie Fockaert with just under three minutes to play in the first half to make it 35-0 Parcalete.

St. Bonaventure's much-publicized offensive line was nailed for three holding penalties and failing to produce a consistent ground game.

"Emotionally, I think we showed our inexperience," Seraph Coach Jon Mack said. "Chris is a heck of a lot better than he played tonight. I think he'll show that in the future."

The lone bright spot for the Seraphs, who are top-ranked in Division X, was running back Jesse Kirk, who rushed for 166 yards in 21 carries.

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