Gardena Serra’s defense took place multiple times on Saturday night to lead the Cavaliers to a 21-17 win over Long Beach Poly in the CIF Division 1-A Regional Finals in Southern California, sending the team to the 1-A State Finals next Saturday against Bakersfield Liberty. Saddleback College.
An interception in Tre Harrison’s end zone from 1:08 to the end sealed the victory. Also at the start of the game, Dakoda Fields intercepted the ball on a two-yard line. And end of defense D’Angelo Davis, a junior who is set to be Serra’s next best rookie in defense, continued to put pressure on quarterback Paulie Shea Kuykendall, who was 17 of 41 and went 137 yards.
“Incredible,” said Coach Scott Altenberg, wet with icy water thrown over his head. “They are really good at defense and we are really good at defense. It is the protection that brought us here. “
Paulie was in position to win when Titus Bordeaux caught a 12-yard pass with 3:25 to finish and the Jackrabbits came out on top 17-14.
But Malik Murphy found running back Troy Crozier wide open to complete a 75-yard touchdown with 3:05 to finish to regain the lead. Serra used his defenders as receivers, creating opportunities for Murphy, who completed 13 of 24 assists for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Cincere Rhaney rushed 112 yards.
There were so many people trying to get into the Serra stadium that the gates were locked because a capacity of 6,000 was reached. The alumni of both football teams were cheering on the sidelines.
The first half ended 7-7. Matthew Coleman caught a touchdown pass seven yards from Murphy and brought out 7-0 early in the second quarter. Paulie returned to level the score on Jason Robinson’s 13-yard touchdown.
Both schools missed the chance to score points after hitting the five yard line. Serra missed a 23-yard field goal attempt and Paulie missed on the goal line after a fourth strike out when time ran out.