Amazing effort by Robinson lifts JSerra past Alemany
MISSION HILLS - Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is razor-thin.
In Friday night's nonleague contest between No. 10 JSerra and Alemany, it was one missed tackle and a few fingertips.
Matthew Robinson's Houdini act to avoid a fourth-quarter sack allowed him to throw a tying touchdown pass that put JSerra to overtime, and a blocked extra point provided the eventual margin of victory for the Lions in a 28-27 thriller at Alemany High.
"We had an opportunity to close the game out, they blocked the kick," Alemany coach James Washington said. "They made the play, we didn't."
Robinson made plenty of plays for JSerra (2-0), throwing for 166 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 123 yards.
Robinson won the game with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tarik Luckett in overtime, but it was his 11-yard touchdown pass to Tristan West with 28.8 seconds left in regulation that truly vexed the Warriors (1-1).
Alemany linebacker Chris Ojoh had a free shot at the game-clinching sack on a blind-side blitz, but Robinson twisted away from Ojoh, scrambled and threw across his body to West in the end zone to forge a 21-21 tie.
Cayden Dunn, who rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, put Alemany back up 27-21 with a 25-yard TD run on the first play of overtime. However, the Lions blocked the extra point, setting themselves up for the gutsy road win.
Alemany broke out to a 21-7 halftime lead, a lead it took into the fourth quarter. Quarterback Miles Bryant was a big reason for that lead, passing for 155 yards and a touchdown and running another one in. But the Warriors scuffled after Bryant was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter after being tackled on his left shoulder.
Bryant had his pads removed and his shoulder wrapped in a sling on the sideline, but Washington wasn't sure of his exact injury and status after the game.
As for the overtime, many nonleague games end in ties instead of playing the extra period(s), but Washington had no regrets passing up the tie and playing for the possible win.
"We're building for league. We have the opportunity to put our team in all kind of situations, and both coaches want to win," Washington said. "These kids practice all week long. It's not about coming out here, getting a tie and going home. They (JSerra) don't want to come up here and say 'we tied.' "