The teams in the CIF Southern California Division 3-A Regional Cup game on Saturday night were mirror images of each other. Both were nicknamed the Patriots, both had eight winning streaks, and both were led by a game changer with the ability to score every time he touched the ball.
The difference was in the trenches where Lake Balboa Birmingham pushed its will and wore out San Diego host Patrick Henry on his way to a 42-35 victory that earned the City Section champions a spot in Saturday’s State Championship game against Oakland McClimonds (11-1).
Throughout the season, Birmingham relied on the size, speed and athleticism of the expansive Arlis Bordingham, and the elder was too strong for Henry. After four moves after climbing the ladder for a 35-yard pass, he made a straight throw in a wildcat formation, ducked to the left and knocked two defenders back for a six-yard touchdown to give Birmingham a 14-0 lead at the start of match two. … quarter.
In the middle of the third quarter, Bordingham picked up the pass, bounced off two defenders and carried the other into the end zone, making a nine-yard touchdown to make the score 35-28. He had four catches and also played well in defense.
Birmingham (9-5) have continued an impressive race since losing their first five games to rivals in the South Division. Birmingham had lost a total of 14 points in three City playoff games and appeared to be on track for another flop, but 35 points were the team’s highest score since the 44-0 lockout from Westlake Village Oaks Christian on September 24. …
Key to Birmingham’s success was the presence of electrified tail-guard Elijah Lux, who kicked off the night with a 1903 yard dash and 19 touchdowns. He averaged 10.8 yards per carry, but was held 44 yards in the first half. He ended up with over 140 out of 30 transfers.
With 28-7 at half-time, the San Diego Division Four champions weren’t giving up. Defender Malachai Gitman linked up with Omar Hammond for a 23-meter shot over Henry’s first possession in the third quarter.
Lux scored on a 14-yard run at the end of the third quarter, receiver Jeremiah Symington caught a 41-yard touchdown in less than two minutes, and Lux crossed the goal line from one yard and tied 35-35 at 9:31. remained in the game.
Delamonte Barnes finished 140 yards in 28 transfers, including a three-yard run that returned the lead to Birmingham, 42-35, from 5:09 to finish.
Henry (10: 3) went to Birmingham 37, but Tim Jackson intercepted the pass in the end zone with 2:19 left.
On the next ride, Barnes buried six yards in fourth and two from Birmingham 28 from 1:27 to the end to give visitors the first chance to fall, allowing them to run out of the countdown.
Defender David Jordan-Oliveros completed Birmingham’s first one-yard drive of the game and threw over 200 yards.