Chaminade outlasts Notre Dame in seesaw battle
OCT 05, 2013 12:21a ET
With time expiring and the Knights down by just three against Chaminade, Alfonso's kick went high – too high – and getting caught in the powerful Santa Ana winds and drifting to the left. His teammate, running back Koa Farmer, rolled over on the sidelines and buried his head in his hands as the sidelines on the other side of the blue turf erupted.
Farmer had good reason for the emotion in the 46-43 loss. A roller coaster of a second half toyed with the emotions the packed house at Chaminade's field.
The Eagles (4-1) scored on every drive except for one, which resulted in a safety for Notre Dame, and the Knights (4-2) scored on every drive except for two: An interception and the definitive missed kick.
"To me it looked good," Farmer said. "We had to make a play. Our team had to make plays, they had to make plays, it was just whoever made the most plays in the game."
Both teams made plays when they mattered. Chaminade broke a 14-14 halftime tie and pulled out to a 29-14 lead early in the third. But Notre Dame made up ground and came back to within six with a touchdown and a safety.
Facing a first-and-15 situation, they were again able to make up ground when quarterback Grant Kraemer scrambled, kept the ball and lateraled to Daniel Khan. The Knights would again find the end zone on that drive.
The play of the game came from Farmer who broke off a 69-yard yard touchdown run to start the fourth quarter. The play wasn't even legal. Farmer hurdled a defender to break free into the open field and hurdling is not allowed in high school. But no flag was thrown and the Eagles went up 37-32.
"He's a monster," said Chaminade head coach Ed Croson. "They'd trick us and put him at quarterback and he kind of got lost back there."
Notre Dame badly needed to stop the Eagles on their final drive but running back Donovan Lee refused to be contained. Lee carried for 17, 26 and 11 yards on the first three plays of the drive and finished it off himself in under three minutes, putting the Eagles up by three with less than a minute to go.
"We knew on that last touchdown drive that that's where the game was going to be won," Lee said. "We just dug down deep inside and we pushed and came out with a long drive for a touchdown."
Lee, who rushed for 214 yards, didn't think the lead had held. He tried to get a hand on Alfonso's kick and couldn't see where it went initially. But he finally saw exactly what he wanted.
"There were butterflies all in my stomach," Lee said.
The wild game capped off non-league play for both teams. Next week both will begin play in their respective leagues. It's a game that ultimately made both teams better."
"Everybody battled, both sides of the field, and it was a great high school football game," Croson said. "I'm really proud of our team for hanging in their but (Notre Dame) is good."
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