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High Schools | CITY SECTION FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP

Goal-Line Stand Saves Patriots

November 16, 2001|Eric Sondheimer

It took a goal-line stand in the final two minutes for top-seeded Van Nuys Birmingham High to pull out a 33-21 victory over 16th-seeded San Pedro in a first-round game of the City Championship playoffs Thursday.

Trailing 26-7 with 10:58 left, San Pedro (4-6) rallied behind tailback Kenny Taylor, who scored touchdowns on runs of five and 30 yards to cut the Pirates' deficit to 26-21. San Pedro got the ball back with 5:51 left and found itself with a first-and-goal at the four-yard line with 2:26 remaining. Taylor scored what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown but it was nullified by a holding penalty.

The Patriots' defense, which had given up big plays throughout the fourth quarter, held. The Pirates tried everything, including a fumblerooski play, but they still faced a fourth-and-goal from the five-yard line. Quarterback Steve Taylor tried to find tight end John Dillon over the middle, but the ball fell incomplete with 1:23 left. Dennis Keyes added to the Pirates' frustration moments later, almost fumbling a pitch before running 88 yards for a touchdown to send Birmingham (10-0) into a Wednesday quarterfinal game against Fremont.

Quarterback Scott Jensen of Birmingham rushed for 80 yards in 12 carries and completed 16 of 27 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown. Keyes scored three touchdowns and rushed for 122 yards in 10 carries.

Steve Taylor completed 13 of 24 passes for 278 yards and one touchdown for San Pedro but was intercepted twice. Kenny Taylor gained 130 yards in 26 carries.

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