Rancho Christian's Malosi Napoleon, center, is off to the races and a touchdown against Godinez Friday. (ROD VEAL/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER)

Godinez rallies but fails to reach its first semifinal


SANTA ANA – Godinez appeared to be in for a long night after Rancho Christian marched down the field with relative ease and scored touchdowns on its first two drives Friday night.

But the Grizzlies didn’t fade that easily, rallying to tie the score in the final minutes before Rancho Christian quickly answered and then held on for a 28-21 victory in a CIF-SS Division 13 second-round game at Santa Ana Valley.

Rancho Christian quarterback Carter Treadway scored the deciding touchdown on an 11-yard keeper with 4:44 left in the game. The Eagles then stopped Godinez on downs and, not long after, celebrated their first trip to the semifinals in just their second season with a varsity team.

Rancho Christian, coached by Jim Kunau who took Orange Lutheran from small-school status in 1991 to the powerful Trinity League in 2006 before departing in 2012, will be on the road again next week when it meets South El Monte in the semifinals.

Godinez (7-5), which was also trying to advance to its first semifinal in school history, still trailed by two touchdowns late in the third quarter when Bryan Sanchez scored on a quarterback sneak to cut the deficit to 21-14.

The Grizzlies, who had missed two opportunities to recover fumbles earlier in the game, finally fell on one near midfield on the first play of the fourth quarter. Patrick McMorris, who earlier scored on an 85-yard kickoff return, converted two fourth-down plays on the ensuing drive, the second resulting in a 13-yard touchdown run that tied the score at 21-21 with 6:46 remaining.

Rancho Christian (10-2) then benefited from back-to-back face mask penalties on the Grizzlies, moving the ball to the Godinez 20, and two plays later Treadway scored the go-ahead touchdown.

Rancho Christian took a narrow 14-7 lead into halftime, despite dominating the Grizzlies in total yardage, 167-0.

The Eagles moved the ball 82 yards in nine plays on their first possession of the game and scored on a 20-yard option run by sophomore Malosi Napoleon off a pitch from Treadway after he was already 4 yards downfield.

The Eagles again used the option to score their second touchdown, as Treadway kept the ball and ran 7 yards for a score with six seconds left in the first quarter.

McMorris then ran back the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown on the final play of the opening quarter, cutting the deficit to 14-7.

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