Orange Lutheran's Dominik Austin takes the ball in for the first touchdown of the game as Servite's Keith Taylor, left, and Julius Irvin try to stop him during a Trinity League football game at Orange Coast College. (STEVEN GEORGES, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER)

Orange Lutheran gets tough, pulls out win over Servite


COSTA MESA – The Servite and Orange Lutheran series has produced some nail-biters and some Trinity League instant classics in recent years.

The Friars won on a Hail Mary one year and the Lancers scored the winning touchdown on the last play last year.

Friday night was wild even by their previous standards.

The third-ranked Lancers scored the first 21 points of the game, then trailed entering the fourth quarter before rallying for a 49-42 home victory over the Friars at Orange Coast College.

Entering the game, the past three games between the two teams had been decided by a total of five points.

“It was an ebb-and-flow game, we go up 21 and I think we got a little comfortable, but I’m going to give them (Servite) credit,” Orange Lutheran coach Chuck Petersen. “Their kids fought their guts out. I liked the way we responded.

“We have a real mentally tough football team and their physically tough and they showed some of that tonight.”

Senior two-way player Brandon McKinney showed just about everything for the Lancers (5-3, 2-1).

Along with a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter, the Washington-bound McKinney had a 17-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Hilinski in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 35-35 and two minutes later, after Blake Hehl recovered a fumble in the end zone to give the Lancers the lead, McKinney intercepted another pass and returned it 50 yards for a 49-42 lead.

“We had No. 21 on our side,” Petersen said. “I’m glad we did.”

Despite that stretch of bad fortune in the fourth quarter, Servite (4-4, 1-2) stayed within striking distance thanks to an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Lytle to Kyle Ford.

Orange Lutheran had one final possession to put the game away, marching the ball down inside the Servite 20, but a Trent McDuffie interception, gave the Friars the ball one final time with less than two minutes remaining, but the Friars never moved the ball out of the shadow of their own end zone.

Servite trailed 28-21 at halftime, but tied the game thanks to Trent McDuffie’s electrifying 101-yard interception return with 5:48 left in the third. With less than two minutes left in the quarter, Lytle gave the Friars their first lead of the game (35-28), scoring on a 9-yard touchdown run.

“Servite, Orange Lutheran games have been crazy the last few years,” Servite coach Scott Meyer said. “We just had few too many turnovers. They (Orange Lutheran) made some great plays on defense and made it count.”

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