Downey comes up a yard short

DOWNEY - The Downey High School football team took their 1-0 record into last Friday night's home game against La Serna and came up a point and a yard short in overtime.Downey lost their first game of the season 28-27 to a now 2-0 Lancer squad who was outplayed for most of the game and was fortunate to escape with the win. Downey kicked off to La Serna to start the game. The two teams exchanged the ball and field position for twelve minutes. Downey scored first on a rushing touchdown, converted the extra point and led early in the second quarter 7-0. La Serna struggled to move the ball and punted back to Downey. Downey's offense moved the ball down the field but were stopped at the La Serna 19 yard line. Viking kicker Mario Galvan came into the game and kicked a 36 yard field goal and increased the Downey lead to 10-0. On their ensuing possession, La Serna drove the ball down to the Downey 30 yard line but fumbled at the 1:27 mark of the second quarter. Downey took possession and drove the ball down to the Lancer 26 yard line where the Vikings fumbled with two seconds left before the half. With possession, La Serna took a knee and went into the locker room at halftime trailing Downey 10-0. La Serna kicked off to Downey to start the second half and Downey wasted little time moving the ball down the field. On the first play from scrimmage, Downey had a 33 yard gain to the La Serna 47 yard line. On the next play, Downey had a 20 yard gain and took the ball down to the La Serna 23 yard line. The Downey offense could not get any closer and Mario Galvan kicked a 37 yard field goal at the 9:15 mark of the third quarter. Downey took a 13-0 lead and were in control of this game. La Serna responded on offense for the first time in this game on their ensuing possession. The Lancers moved the ball down the field and scored their first touchdown of the evening at the 6:49 mark of the third quarter. The extra point was good and Downey still led 13-7. Downey proceeded to move the ball down the field on their ensuing possession but their drive stalled at the La Serna 45 yard line. The teams traded the ball and field possession for the remainder of the third quarter. The score at the end of the third quarter remained 13-7 Downey. Much like last week, Downey scored on their first play of the fourth quarter. Downey took the lead 19-7, decided to go for two, converted, and now led 21-7 at the 11:55 mark of the fourth quarter. La Serna responded to Downey's touchdown with one of their own with 6:44 remaining. Downey still led 21-14. On their ensuing possession, Downey was able to move the ball down the field. There was a screen pass completed to Justin Huff at the 5:04 mark and Downey had a first and ten and appeared willing and able to chew on the clock just like they did last week against Mayfair to seal the win. Unfortunately, the Viking drive stalled and they were forced to punt. La Serna marched the ball down the field and scored their third touchdown of the night from the 3 yard line. The extra point was good and the game was tied at 21. Downey took the ensuing kickoff and once again marched down the field. The Vikings got down to the La Serna 27 yard line with 14 seconds left. A Lancer time out was called and kicker Mario Galvan came onto the field to attempt a game winning 44 yard field goal. Galvan kicked the ball well but it was wide right. La Serna regained possession and took a knee. This game was headed to overtime. The game captains met at mid field to determine who was going to be on defense first and what endzone they were going to play into. La Serna went on offense first and scored a touchdown. The extra point was good and La Serna took their first lead of the game 28-21. Downey then went on offense and scored a touchdown as well. Downey now trailed 28-27 and Coach Williams, without hesitation, went for two and the win. The call was a quarterback option to the right. As the ball was optioned to Huff at the 3 yard line, it appeared as though he was going to score. As Huff ran, a La Serna defender appeared to grab Huff's ankle and tripped him up at the 1 yard line. Huff fell three feet short and the Lancer sideline raced onto the field. The game was over and La Serna held on to their 28-27 win. Interestingly, as I was walking to the car after the game I heard several La Serna fans saying, "man, that Downey coach has guts." A rematch of this game would certainly be interesting to see. Downey will travel to Schurr High School this Friday and take on the Spartans.

********** Published: September 6, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 21