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St. Bonaventure Rallies to Win

Seraphs, who were down, 16-10, at halftime, score three third-quarter touchdowns to defeat Hart, 38-29.

September 18, 2004|Eric Sondheimer | Times Staff Writer

There's no Lorenzo Booker, no Whitney Lewis, no Brian Stevens, but don't feel sorry for Ventura St. Bonaventure Coach Jon Mack.

"There's a lot of stars," Mack said of this year's team. "I just think nobody knows about them."

The eighth-ranked Seraphs (3-0) sent a loud and clear message about their talent Friday night, displaying speed and big-play skills on defense in a 38-29 victory over third-ranked Newhall Hart at College of the Canyons.

St. Bonaventure trailed, 16-10, at halftime, then raced to a 31-16 lead with three third-quarter touchdowns. Kevin Ballard caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Matt Evans, Matt Lee scored on a four-yard run and Derek Wilson returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown.

Defense is what turned the game around for the Seraphs. Junior linebacker Dwight Roberson stripped the ball from Hart quarterback Tyler Lyon in the third quarter, one of five Hart turnovers. Junior defensive tackle Kyle Maddux twice stuffed Hart running back Robbie Casselberry for no gain on short-yardage situations, had a blocked punt and a sack. Senior defensive lineman Carlton Gillespie recorded two sacks. Wilson had a leaping interception.

Lyon, making his second varsity start, struggled against a relentless St. Bonaventure pass rush in the second half. He finished 19 of 38 for 226 yards, with three interceptions and two touchdowns. Steven Lippert's 31-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:36 left sealed the Seraphs' victory. St. Bonaventure held the Indians to 23 yards rushing.

It was the second consecutive season St. Bonaventure had beaten the Indians, the defending Southern Section Division II champions. The Seraphs have been as good as any program in Southern California the last six seasons, with a 71-2 record.

Lee rushed for 76 yards in 26 carries and scored two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Samson Szakacsy, sharing time with Evans, completed 11 of 15 passes for 110 yards.

St. Bonaventure even survived a daring but costly decision on the final play of the second quarter.

With six seconds left and the ball on Hart's four-yard line, Szakacsy couldn't find an open receiver and ran toward the end zone. Ryan Wolfe stopped him on the one as time expired.

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