Orange Lutheran entered the fourth quarter trailing by 11 points but rallied to win Saturday night’s Southern Section Division 2 championship game, scoring 22 points in the final 12 minutes to stun top-seeded and host Mission Hills Bishop Alemany 38-35.
Logan Gonzalez threw for 240 yards and four touchdowns for the Lancers, and Desmin Jackson scored on a 27-yard run to give the Lancers an 11-point lead with just over two minutes left.
Alemany’s Floyd Chalk ran for 233 yards and four touchdowns, the last on a four-yard run, and Ephesians Prysock caught a two-point conversion to pull the Warriors within 38-35 with 1:15 left.
Hayden Faraday recovered the ensuing onside kick for the Lancers.
Chalk capped a 10-play, 80-yard march with a bruising 18-yard touchdown run to set the tone on the Warriors’ first possession.
Chalk burst 41 yards untouched up the middle to increase the Warriors’ lead to 13-3 midway through the second quarter. Orange Lutheran answered when Jaylen Lynch made a diving catch on a 19-yard pass to pull the Lancers to within 13-9.
Alemany drove to the Lancers’ eight-yard line before Jaylen Thompson fumbled and Orange Lutheran recovered. However, the Lancers failed to pick up a first down and the Warriors got the ball back at the Lancers’ 35, and on the sixth play of the ensuing drive Chalk scored his third touchdown on a 10-yard run to up the Warriors’ lead to 20-9. Chalk, who entered the game averaging 8.9 yards per carry and 156.6 per game, had racked up 170 yards by halftime.
Orange Lutheran pulled to within 20-16 on its first drive of the third quarter on an acrobatic 34-yard touchdown catch by Faraday. Chalk rumbled for 59 yards on the first play of Alemany’ next drive and two plays later quarterback Dylan Gebbia dashed 19 yards on a keeper to extend the lead back to 11 points.
Malik Blackmon caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Gonzalez, who then threw a two-point conversion pass to tight end Jace Rodriguez to pull Lutheran to within 27-24.
Chalk fumbled on the first play of Alemany’s next drive and linebacker Jayden Niumata recovered at the Alemany 20. Faraday made a one-handed catch on the next play and the Lancers took a 31-27 lead with 6:55 left.