Servite quarterback Aaron Simpson finds an opening and sprints to the end zone to score a touchdown to take the lead against Edison late in the game on Friday.

Backup QB Simpson rallies Servite past Edison


COSTA MESA – The No. 2 quarterback has to be ready to play at any moment.

That moment came for Aaron Simpson. He was ready.

Simpson threw for one touchdown and ran for another, the latter score providing the winning points for Servite in the Friars’ 21-14 win over Edison on Friday in a nonleague game at Orange Coast College.

Servite badly needed it. The Friars (2-2) had lost two in a row, including last week’s 52-15 shellacking by California’s top-ranked team, De La Salle of Concord.

“This was a good win,” Servite coach Scott Meyer said, “especially coming off of that game last week.”

Servite, 2-2 and ranked No. 9 in Orange County, plays at national No. 1 Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas next Friday before taking its bye week and then opening Trinity League action Oct. 9 against county No. 5- and state No. 23-ranked JSerra at Cerritos College.

Edison (2-2) plays another Trinity League team next week. The Chargers square off against county No. 1 Mater Dei on Friday at Santa Ana Stadium. Then comes their bye week before opening Sunset League play against county No. 7 Los Alamitos on Oct. 8 at Huntington Beach High.

Servite’s first four possessions produced 29 yards, zero first downs and a lost turnover. Meanwhile, Edison had taken a 7-0 lead on its first possession when Grant Lowary connected with David Atencio on a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Simpson, a 5-foot-10, 155-pound senior, replaced junior Tyler Lytle at quarterback after that fourth Friars possession. Their first offensive series with Simpson did not produce Servite points, but the ensuing Edison possession did – Keyon Riley returned an interception 48 yards for a Friars touchdown to make it 7-7.

Servite took the lead with 41 seconds left in the first half on a Simpston-to-Terrell Bynum touchdown screen pass that covered 38 yards to give the Friars a 13-7 lead. The kick for the extra point was blocked by Edison’s Gasper Atencio.

Edison regained the lead on its first possession of the third quarter. Jacob Marines scored on a 9-yard run and Bobby Jinkins point-after-touchdown kick put the Chargers on top, 14-13.

Edison missed a field-goal attempt early in the fourth quarter.

Servite’s winning drive started at its 34 and consisted solely of running plays. Jackson Taylor had four carries for 51 yards, a personal foul penalty against Edison added 15 yards and Servite was at the Edison 20. On second-and-8 from there, Simpson dropped back, then sprinted through the middle into the end zone. The Friars went for two points and got them as Simpson rolled right, stopped, then ran left and cut up the middle into the end zone to give Servite the 21-14 lead with 3:55 to go.

Edison made a great effort to tie it, driving to the Servite 39. On fourth-and-13, Lowary passed right to Garrett White, who was tackled a yard shy of a first down.

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