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Sage shut down

High School Football

Lightning ends season with loss at home to Brethren Christian, which earns playoff berth with convincing win Friday.

November 12, 2011|By Bruce Bourquin, Special to the Daily Pilot

NEWPORT COAST — Nearly every time Brethren Christian running backs touched the ball Friday at Sage Hill School, something big would happen.

Either a 41-yard touchdown run by quarterback Samuel Franklin would occur, with hardly anyone touching him. Or Josh Gladysz, a converted offensive guard turned man-sized, bulldozing fullback, would drag one, two, three Sage Hill defenders with him per four-yard carry.

Add it all up — 451 rushing yards on 47 carries, to be exact — and the Lightning lost a critical Academy League game, 48-7.

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On senior night, Sage Hill's season ended at 3-7, 1-2 in league.

The Warriors (2-1, 6-4) are headed to the CIF playoffs.

"To see it end like that is tough for everybody," Lightning Coach J.R. Tolver said. "It just wasn't our night. We knew we had to play well to even be in the game. We played average at best."

Sage Hill was well within range to tie or possibly go ahead, trailing 28-7 at halftime. In fact, the Lightning recovered a fumble on a punt return at the BCHS 42-yard line. But quarterback Harrison Ray could not complete two passes and a coffin-corner punt by Joe Melita nailed Brethren at its own 4. Ray was able to finish 10-of-22 for 172 yards, though the Lightning only mustered 15 rushing yards on 13 carries.

That would not deter the Warriors, as it drove 96 yards to put the nail in the coffin, with 2:18 left in the third quarter. Franklin scored again, on a four-yard drive up the middle for a 34-7 lead.

On the ensuing drive, senior Taylor Petty, who caught six passes for 77 yards, lined up at quarterback and he threw an interception to none other than Brandon White, who led with 155 yards and two rushing TDs on 16 carries.

Earlier Friday, Petty signed his national letter of intent to play football at Princeton University.

"Our lines worked really hard," Brethren Christian Coach Pat McInally said. "Hopefully we'll get a good seed once the playoffs begin."

Sage Hill scored its only touchdown with 2:21 left in the second quarter, on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ray to Conner Ascher, another senior who was honored before the game.

The Lightning certainly had its opportunities to keep up. After Franklin's 41-yard TD run gave the Warriors a 21-0 lead, senior punt returner Eric Cheng fumbled a kickoff at the 27.

Luke Carbonella of Brethren Christian made Sage Hill pay, scoring on a run from 14 yards out.

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