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Golden Knights Stop Swordsmen, Losing Streak

posted Mar 25, 2011, 10:30 PM by Golden Knight

By Christian Romo


Photo Courtesy: Brandon Keenan

In preparation for his halftime speech, St. Francis coach Jim Bonds encountered a word written in big letters while erasing the whiteboard: FINISH. “I like that,” he said, and the word was left up.

The Golden Knights finished their final home game with a flourish, overcoming a disappointing first half to blow out the visiting Swordsmen. Coming off a four-game losing streak, it was imperative for St. Francis to win to stay alive in the Mission League race.

The St. Francis defense came out dominating in the first half and remained strong all the way through allowing St. Paul only 139 yards of total offense. St. Francis fullback Luke Anderson started the scoring with a touchdown scamper in the first quarter, but an Ian Sternau field goal was all the Golden Knights could muster before halftime. The offense missed a couple scoring opportunities in the second quarter, including a blown third down play deep in Swordsmen territory that sent the Golden Knights into halftime with a 10-3 lead.

The last few weeks have been especially difficult for the Golden Knights as they struggled to finish off opponents with last minute drives, but after the halftime homecoming festivities, they made sure it wouldn’t happen again.

Quarterback Brett Nelson connected with receiver Travis Talianko for a 14 yard touchdown pass that raised the spirits of the anxious homecoming crowd. Pinned deep into St. Paul territory, Nelson’s pass that was tipped into the hands of receiver Ian Hamilton led to a 69 yard touchdown. It wouldn’t be the last highlight-reel play from the receiver.

A reverse from running back Austin De Los Santos to Hamilton appeared to be broken by the blitzing St. Paul defense, but Hamilton lofted the ball to a wide open Talianko in the front corner of the end zone to give Hamilton both a passing and receiving touchdown on the night.

Defensive end Michael Singelyn would recover a fumble that essentially iced the game and sent in the reserves. True to his word, running back Matt Raba was, indeed, ready for the game as the go-to weapon on the Golden Knights’s final drive of the game. The win for the Golden Knights gives them an overall record of 4-4 and a divisional record of 1-2, still in the race for a playoff spot.

St. Francis goes on the road to Cathedral High School in Los Angeles next Friday at 7:30.