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Seraphs come up big

December 16, 2007|Austin Knoblauch | Special to The Times

For more than a decade, Ventura St. Bonaventure has been one of the most dominant small-school programs in Southern California. On Saturday, the Seraphs proved they're one of the state's best.

Behind a final trademark performance by senior running back Darrell Scott, St. Bonaventure (14-1) scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away for a 35-21 victory over Modesto Central Catholic (11-2-1) in the CIF State Division III championship bowl game at the Home Depot Center.

Scott, rated the nation's top running back prospect by numerous recruiting services, capped off his prep career in dominant fashion, scoring a go-ahead touchdown on a spectacular 10-yard run before putting the Raiders away for good on a 16-yard flea-flicker pass to senior quarterback Casey Serna with less than two minutes left to play.

"We came out and played with heart," Scott said. "I'm glad we were able to get it done."

Scott finished with 150 yards and two touchdowns in 17 carries, despite playing with a sore right ankle he said was twisted on his first carry. But that didn't stop him from achieving his yearlong goal of winning a state title after he transferred last spring from Moorpark.

"I'm going to go home, take a nap and finally realize I won state when I wake up," Scott said. "I have no regrets about anything."

Scott wasn't the only dominant running back on the field. Central Catholic senior Louis Bland rushed for a game-high 196 yards and a touchdown in 24 carries and kept the Raiders in the game. However, as the game wore on, it seemed Bland's teammates -- many played on both offense and defense, as did Bland -- couldn't keep up with their renowned runner.

"Our kids were really tired at the end of the first quarter," said Mike Glines, who coached the final prep football game of his 35-year career, 22 years of which were at Central Christian. "We don't face many schools that platoon like they do and it really wore on us."

Central Catholic scored the first touchdown, but St. Bonaventure took a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter on a 48-yard run by Scott.

Central Catholic then put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a controversial two-yard touchdown run by Bland. It appeared as if he fumbled before reaching the end zone after taking a hard hit from defensive back Troy Hill.

St. Bonaventure took the lead again on a 70-yard touchdown pass play from Serna to junior receiver Drew Gibson, who fended off two diving defenders before breaking away for an untouched dash to the end zone.

Serna completed eight of 14 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

Central Christian sophomore quarterback Dylan Swartz performed well, considering the game marked his varsity debut. Glines decided to go with him because of his "good week in practice" and he didn't disappoint, connecting on 10 of 14 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. But it was not enough to pull off the win for the seven-time defending Sac-Joaquin division champions.

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