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Football roundup: Lakewood beats Bishop Amat

No. 4 Lakewood uses a strong finish to reach the Pac-5 semifinals after a 34-17 win.

November 28, 2009|Staff Reports
  • Servite's Matthew Inman draws a penalty by grabbing onto the collar of Long Beach Poly quarterback Chris Leachman during the the fourth quarter.
Servite's Matthew Inman draws a penalty by grabbing onto the collar… (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles…)

Lakewood High is headed back to a Southern Section Pac-5 Division semifinal on the strength of four touchdown passes from quarterback Jesse Scroggins and a pair of long punt returns.

Kevin Anderson returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to give Lakewood the lead Friday night during an eventual 34-17 quarterfinal victory over visiting La Puente Bishop Amat.

Fourth-seeded Lakewood (11-1) will play top-seeded Huntington Beach Edison (12-0) a week from today after the Chargers defeated Dana Hills, 47-16, in a quarterfinal Friday. Edison will be the host team.

"It's very nice," Scroggins said of returning to a semifinal one season after Lakewood lost to Long Beach Poly, "but this year we've got a different plan and that's to finish."

Lakewood polished off Bishop Amat with authority, scoring the final 21 points after falling behind, 17-13, early in the third quarter. Bishop Amat (10-2) had a chance to add to its lead when it faced a fourth and goal at the Lakewood three-yard line. The Lancers decided to attempt a 20-yard field goal that Alexander Ragsdale pulled wide right.

Bishop Amat then intercepted a Scroggins pass on Lakewood's next possession but was forced to punt. Anderson fielded the kick at the Lakewood 36 and returned it for a touchdown that put Lakewood ahead, 20-17, with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.

"That was pretty much a game-breaker right there," Anderson said. "They started getting a little down on themselves and that started opening up a lot of doors."

Lakewood defensive end Justin Utupo made three of his four sacks in the fourth quarter as Lakewood held Bishop Amat to one first down over the game's final 12 minutes.

"He's our leader," Lakewood Coach Thadd MacNeal said of the Notre Dame-bound senior. "Justin really takes it upon himself to will us not to lose."

Scroggins completed 11 of 19 passes for 123 yards and had touchdown passes of six, 35, nine and 21 yards. His first two scoring passes came after breakdowns in the Bishop Amat punting game gave Lakewood excellent field position.

Lakewood's Darius Powe returned Bishop Amat's first punt 36 yards to the Bishop Amat six-yard line. When Bishop Amat tried to punt on its following possession, the kicker bobbled the snap and then tripped at his own 35.

-- Ben Bolch Upland gets past Colony

Upland quarterback Justin Nunes tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to backup receiver Jason Roberts in the final minute to give the Highlanders a 21-17 Southern Section Central Division quarterfinal victory over visiting Ontario Colony.

Colony took a 17-14 lead with 2:49 left in the fourth quarter on a 34-yard field goal.

The Titans ted the score at 14 five minutes earlier on a short run, then got an interception returned to the Upland 48 to set up the go-ahead kick.

Nunes scored on a one-yard sneak, then threw a two-point conversion pass with 11:20 left in the fourth to give at-large entry Upland a 14-7 lead.

-- Lance Pugmire

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