Servite bounces back, tops JSerra in crucial game
MISSION VIEJO – Servite got up off the canvas and got back in the playoff hunt Friday night.
The Friars bounced back from a humbling defeat last week to beat JSerra, 38-14, in a Trinity League game at Saddleback College and keep alive their hopes for a postseason berth.
Tyler Lytle passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-33 accuracy as Servite (4-3, 1-1) enhanced its chances of grabbing the third and final playoff berth in the league.
The Friars were coming off a 70-6 thrashing at the hands of St. John Bosco and still have to play Mater Dei, the top-ranked team in Orange County. Friday's game was a showdown for survival for both teams, and JSerra (4-3, 0-2) saw its playoff hopes dimmed on homecoming night. The Lions could receive an at-large berth with a .500 record or better, but they close the season against Santa Margarita, Bosco and Mater Dei.
The host Lions took a 7-0 lead barely four minutes into the game on Matthew Robinson's 26-yard touchdown pass to Eli Jefferson. But Servite reeled off the next 24 points to take a 24-7 halftime and kept the JSerra offense out of the end zone the rest of the night.
Asa Fuller kicked a 25-yard field goal to get Servite within 7-3, then Lytle hit Delon Hurt with touchdown passes of 17 and 37 yards and scored on his own 14-yard run for a 24-7 halftime lead.
JSerra's defense came out strong in the second half, sacking Lytle twice in the first seven minutes and blocking a punt for a touchdown. Shawn Nielsen picked up the ball at the 3-yard line and ran it in to pull the Lions within 24-14 with 7:46 left in the third quarter.
But a fumble at the end of a 45-yard run deflated the Lions on the their next possession, and Servite put together an 87-yard march to take a 31-14 lead on John Mumphrey's 4-yard run with 2:16 left in the third.
On their next possession, Mumphrey ran 38 yards on first down and Dominic Wingfield caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Lytle on the next play to make it 38-14 with 10:54 left in the game.
Hurt finished with 11 catches for 148 yards, and Steven Muise rushed for 84 yards.