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ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS

Cameron Page is Knight in shining armor as Notre Dame tops Crespi

High school football: Cameron Page has three sacks and a TD catch to help Sherman Oaks Notre Dame beat archrival Encino Crespi, 41-27

October 25, 2013|Eric Sondheimer

On a night of drama across Southern California, it was 5-foot-10, 185-pound Cameron Page of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame who showed Friday night why high school football is so exhilarating.

Playing in a rivalry game against Encino Crespi, Page had three sacks, caught a touchdown pass and almost broke his ankle trying to jump into the arms of an assistant coach to celebrate in helping the Knights hold off Crespi, 41-27, in a Serra League game.

"I looked forward to it my whole life," Page said.

Notre Dame (6-3 overall, 2-1 in league play) and Crespi (3-5, 1-1) were each desperate for a win to take a step closer to securing a Pac-5 Division playoff berth. A huge crowd turned out in Encino, and both teams had plenty of stars.

For Notre Dame, Chris Colarossi rushed for 228 yards in 25 carries and scored a touchdown. Grant Kraemer passed for three touchdowns and scored the clinching touchdown on a two-yard run with 1 minute 52 seconds left. Mike Little had an interception and a touchdown catch and was magnificent playing cornerback. Koa Farmer had an interception and a touchdown catch.

For Crespi, quarterback Conor McMahan refused to lose focus after his team fell behind, 21-0, and two of his first three passes were intercepted. He finished with four touchdown passes and was 20 for 27 for 241 yards.

"They always battle," Notre Dame Coach Kevin Rooney said of the Celts. "We knew they'd fight back. We were able to respond."

High school football is changing. Much is being focused on college recruiting, but the games still come down to teenagers of all shapes and sizes handling pressure and coming through. That's where players like Page come in.

"He's a fighter. He's a tough kid," Rooney said. "He's not a Division I kid, but he's a really, really good high school football player and we have a lot of them."

There were stunning games Friday. Anaheim Servite defeated Orange Lutheran, 20-19, on a Hail Mary pass from Travis Waller to Equanimeous St. Brown. Santa Margarita handed Santa Ana Mater Dei its first loss, 16-7.

And there was Page & Co. enjoying a moment of triumph in a special environment. Only he and his teammates know how truly special it was.

Record night

Nathan Lancaster of Laguna Beach turned in the second-best rushing performance in Southern Section history Thursday night, gaining 552 yards in 31 carries and scoring seven touchdowns in a 62-56 overtime loss to Santa Ana Calvary Chapel.

"Yeah, I was tired," Lancaster said.

Ronny Jenkins of Hueneme set the record with 619 yards rushing in 1995.

Lancaster, a 6-foot, 185-pound senior, has rushed for a school-record 1,933 yards in eight games.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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