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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Notre Dame's Late Surge Falls Short

Del Rey: Knights score twice in final eight minutes but can't overtake Bishop Amat, 28-21. Wagner rushes for 363 yards.

October 31, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LA PUENTE — As far as comebacks go, it was a nice one.

But it wasn't a complete one for Notre Dame High.

The Knights scored two touchdowns in the final eight minutes but lost to Bishop Amat, 28-21, in a Del Rey League opener Friday night at Bishop Amat.

Mike Wagner rushed for a school-record 363 yards in 35 carries and scored three touchdowns for the Lancers (8-0), ranked No. 3 in the state.

Wagner broke the school record of 305 yards set by Eric Bieniemy in 1985.

Notre Dame (7-1) was apparently done in by Wagner's 50-yard touchdown run with 8:48 left to play, which put Bishop Amat up, 28-7.

But Knight running back Chris Leon ran for 52 yards, setting up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Seth Oseransky to Todd Fenton with 7:18 left.

The reception, which sliced Bishop Amat's lead to 28-14, was the 18th of Fenton's career, setting a school record.

Jonathon Brewster then recovered the onside kick for Notre Dame, which pulled to within 28-21 on a seven-yard run by Leon with 5:44 left.

Leon passed the 100-yard mark for the third consecutive week, finishing with 137 yards in 15 carries.

The Knights got the ball back one last time on their 32 with 2:07 left, but could not get a first down, much less a touchdown to tie.

Notre Dame missed field-goal attempts of 47, 38 and 40 yards in the first half.

The second miss, wide left with 2:51 remaining until intermission, was a futile end to a drive that lasted more than six minutes. Fenton shook off a poor first half in which he dropped two passes and muffed a punt return that was recovered by Notre Dame for a 14-yard loss.

He finished with five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.

"We're definitely a Division I football team, for all the people out there who doubted us," Fenton said of the Knights, who moved up from Division III before the season began.

Notre Dame held Wagner to only 96 yards in the first half, but he gained 152 yards in the third quarter alone.

The going only gets tougher for the Knights, who must defeat Loyola or St. John Bosco in the final two games to stay alive for a playoff berth.

*

MAKING IT COUNT: Notre Dame may have been outnumbered by Bishop Amat but made most of its personnel. Page 10

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