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Loyola's Backs Bog Down the Moss, 17-14

Del Rey: Notre Dame defensive end makes series of big plays to help Knights upset No. 7 team in state.

November 07, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

SHERMAN OAKS — Please excuse the confusion, but who was supposed to receive the rude welcoming to Division I football?

Notre Dame High stunned perennial power Loyola, 17-14, in a Del Rey League game at Notre Dame on Friday night and showed the climb from Southern Section Division III to Division I isn't that steep.

Forget about baby steps. This was a big one for the Knights (8-1, 1-1 in league play), last beat Loyola in 1973.

"It's been a long time," Coach Kevin Rooney of Notre Dame said.

The Knights' reputation isn't the only thing that grew in stature.

Defensive end Alec Moss played a critical part on defense, helping hold Loyola, ranked No. 7 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, to 217 yards rushing.

All Moss did was block a field-goal try at the end of the first half, stuff a Loyola reverse on fourth and goal near the end of the third quarter, and force a fumble in the fourth quarter on the Loyola 12-yard line that ultimately led to a Notre Dame field goal and 17-6 lead.

"We believed in ourselves when no one else did," said Moss, who threw in a sack that stalled a Loyola drive midway through the fourth quarter.

Of course, Loyola (8-1, 1-1) planned to run the ball.

Notre Dame surrendered 397 yards rushing last week against Bishop Amat, a fact that wasn't lost on Loyola coaches who were scouting the game.

The Cubs, always looking to run instead of throwing, lit up Alemany for 411 yards on the ground a month ago.

And after 81 rushing yards in the first quarter, including a 12-yard scoring run up the middle by Taylor Williams, it appeared the Cubs were well on their way to 300.

They were lucky to get 200.

With starter John Grady sidelined because of an ankle injury, the Cubs had trouble running the ball after the first quarter.

Quarterback Chris Peterson did most of the damage on bootlegs and scrambles, rushing for 98 yards in 10 carries.

"We got them in a situation where they had to throw a lot in the second half and that helped us," Rooney said.

Peterson completed 13 of 28 passes for 137 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown to J.J. Nese with 44 seconds left.

Todd Fenton, who became the Knights' all-time leader in touchdown catches last week, scored his 19th career touchdown reception on a 38-yard post-pattern pass from Seth Oseransky with 4:22 left until halftime.

The Knights made it 14-6 at halftime on a pass from Oseransky to Noah Reeder, who broke two tackles and scored from 27 yards.

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