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FOOTBALL: Cunningham’s late TD pass gains revenge for Gaels

Randall Cunningham’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Alize Jones with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter Saturday allowed Bishop Gorman’s football team to rally for a 20-17 win over host Bergen Catholic (N.J.) in Oradell, N.J.

Jones caught the ball in the back corner of the end zone on a second-and-goal play that capped a 12-play, 73-yard drive for the Gaels (4-1), who avenged last year’s 42-35 home loss to Bergen Catholic.

“This is a huge win for our program,” said Gorman coach Tony Sanchez. “We had this one circled all year. We knew they’d be tough, and coming all the way across the country, it was more like college football. Our kids really responded.”

The Crusaders (1-2) took a 17-13 lead on Corey Russo’s 6-yard TD run with 7:33 to play, and after forcing a Gorman punt, appeared to be on their way to clinching the victory.

But a high shotgun snap on a second-and-3 play from the Gaels’ 47-yard line resulted in an 8-yard loss, and a Gorman sack forced Bergen Catholic to punt with 4:10 left in the game.

Gorman converted a key third-and-8 early in the winning drive with Cunningham finding Terrance Chambers for 11 yards, and Cunningham’s 29-yard run on the 10th play of the drive gave the Gaels the ball at the Bergen Catholic 4.

Cunningham was stopped for no gain on first down before hitting Jones for the combination’s second touchdown of the game. Cunningham, who was just 8 of 20 for 82 yards, tossed a 13-yard TD pass to Jones in the first quarter.

“We just went back to our bread and butter plays,” Sanchez said. “Terrance made a big catch on third down, and Randall had a huge run, and then just threw up that fade, and Alize came down with a big catch.”

Kenyan Coker also had a 1-yard TD run for Gorman, which managed just 193 yards of total offense. The Crusaders gained 234 yards, but only 89 of those in the second half.

“That was about as gutsy of a performance as I’ve seen from our defense,” Sanchez said.

Mountain View 18, Agassi Prep 14 — At Mountain View, Ian Locke rushed for two touchdowns, including a 53-yard run for go-ahead score in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, as the Saints held off the Stars.

Matthew Larson tacked on a 3-yard TD run with 6:31 left to give Mountain View (2-1, 2-0 Division III Southern) an 18-8 lead. Larson finished with 131 yards on 24 carries, including 93 yards in the second half.

Locke had 104 yards on 13 carries.

“I thought we had good endurance in second half. We wanted to run the ball straight ahead and get (Matthew) Larson going,” said Mountain View coach Mike Valenzuela. “They isolated our spread offense. We had to make it a fight.”

Agassi Prep (3-1, 2-1) pulled within 18-14 on Kobe Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run with 2:31 left, but the Saints ran out the clock.

Williams had 63 yards on 15 carries, and Stephen Laushaul had a 2-yard TD run early in the second half for the Stars.

— Zac Alexander

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