Servite's Tate Beachley tries to hold off Long Beach Poly's John Smith on Friday at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
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Servite stuns Long Beach Poly

Servite stuns Long Beach Poly


NORWALK – Quarterback Travis Waller spirited a second half rally that propelled Servite to a 31-24 victory over defending CIF-SS Pac- 5 champion Long Beach Poly in a nonleague game Friday night at Cerritos College.

Waller rushed for 200 yards, scored two touchdowns and passed for another TD as the Friars (1-1) rebounded after an opening-week loss to Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas.

“This is a big, big win for us,” said Waller, who also completed eight passes for 115 yards. “We wanted this win so bad after losing last week. This is really going to give our season momentum”

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Trailing, 12-10, at half the Friars retook the lead midway through the third quarter after momentum-turning defensive stand. Servite linebacker Justin Parcells made jarring hits on Poly QB Tai Natani Tiedemann on consecutive plays to stall a Jackrabbits (1-1) drive at the Friars 16 yard line.

One play later, Waller showcased his speed and outran the Poly secondary for an 84-yard touchdown run. Waller then ran in the 2-point conversion, giving the Friars an 18-12 lead.

Later in the quarter Waller tossed a 9-yard scoring pass to Tony Brown to improve Servite's lead to 25-12. The Jackrabbits cut it to 25-18 after a 6-yard touchdown pass from Josh Love to Johnnie Rucker.

The Friars then sealed the victory when Nick Lopiccola scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 6:51 to play. The Jackrabbits scored a touchdown on the final play of the game, but it was too little, too late.

“We watched film and we know the mistakes we made last week, and we felt like we had a good plan coming in against these guys,” said first-year Servite coach A.J. Gass, who was drenched with a Gatorade shower after the game.

The Friars took advantage of two short Long Beach Poly punts to build an early lead in the opening quarter. After a 27-yard field goal by Patrick Flynn, Servite increased its lead to 10-0 as Waller scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 2 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Jackrabbits got on the board on a 59-yard scoring run by Jeremy Calhoun II early in the second quarter. However, Poly's 2-point conversion pass attempt came up short and the Jackrabbits trailed 10-6.

Poly capitalized on a Friars' miscue and drove down field for the go ahead score. Calhoun capped the scoring drive with his second touchdown – a 1-yard run – with 19 seconds left in the half. Killian Turley's PAT was blocked and the Jackrabbits held a 12-10 lead at the break.

Calhoun led Poly with 100 yards rushing.

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