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Damien Spartans falls short against Amat in much anticipated showdown

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Given Damien credit, because it fought and battled and the showdown lived up to the hype, but Bishop Amat jumped to an early lead and never gave it away before pulling away late for a 53-28 victory in front of a standing-room only crowd.

“I don’t think we played well in the first half and my message to the team is we didn’t play well and it was 21-14 at half,” Damien coach Matt Bechtel said. “Against a good team you can’t dig yourself in a hole. I like the way offensively we came out in the second half and I thought we were going to be able to make more of a game of it. But we shot ourselves in the foot multiple times and we just didn’t play well, and when you don’t play well it’s hard to get in a rhythm against good teams.

In the first minute of the second half, O’Dell busted loose on a 70-yard run and Ramos finished it with a seven yard touchdown run to double Amat’s lead, 28-14.

Still, the Spartans wouldn’t go away with Gutierrez tossing a 9-yard TD pass to Toilolo in the corner to make it a seven-point game midway through the third quarter.

But O’Dell answered again with his third TD pass, a 34-yard pass to tight end Josiah Johnson to push Amat back ahead, 35-31.

Chavez answered with a two-yard run to cut Amat’s lead to 35-28 with 23 seconds left in the third quarter, but Amat’s Mark Thomas III returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to give the Lancers a 42-28 lead heading to fourth quarter.


James Escarcega

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