Photo By: Shirley Pefley/Special to the Town Crier
A week after managing just one touchdown in a 12-7 loss at Palma, the St. Francis High Lancers found their offensive groove Friday night in a 30-0 rout of host Willow Glen.
The lopsided victory over the Rams (0-2) was a change of pace for the Lancers (1-2), who opened the football season with two losses by a combined six points to Oak Grove and Palma.
The Lancers Friday racked up 357 yards on offense, led by quarterback Mike Lauck, who completed 11 of 16 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Alex Andrighetto led the Lancers with 93 yards rushing on 23 carries. Defensively, St. Francis recorded eight sacks – including 3.5 by senior defensive end Shane Artim – and intercepted three passes by Rams quarterback Matt Toscano.
“We’ve been in two really close games against two really good opponents and we had to put a couple of things together,” Lancers head coach Nick Navarro said. “I think tonight we finally saw some of those things. We were able to run the ball a little more effectively and the defense got off the field on third down.”
Lauck noted that it was time for the offense to make its mark after spending the first two games adjusting to its new up-tempo, spread offense.
“We owe the defense big time from the last two weeks,” said Lauck, who threw five interceptions in the team’s two losses prior to Friday. “We turned the ball over a lot and put them in tough positions and they got out of them.”
Still, the Lancer offense sputtered a few times in the first half.
After opening the game with a two-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown run from Landon Baty at 10:26, the offense failed to advance beyond the Willow Glen 40 on its next five possessions.
The Lancer defense kept things close, however, ending a Willow Glen drive when defensive end John Powers sacked Toscano on fourth-and-2 at the Lancer 24 with 9:47 left in the second quarter. Defensive back Domenic Andrighetto (Alex’s brother) later picked off a Toscano pass at the goal line to end another Rams drive with 1:48 left.
The Lancers began clicking offensively in the second half, opening up the third quarter with a six-play, 51-yard drive, highlighted by another two-yard Baty touchdown run at 9:53 for a 13-0 lead (failed extra-point kick).
The Lancers engineered another scoring drive to close out the third quarter, gaining 86 yards on 10 plays, including a 40-yard touchdown strike from Lauck to receiver Austin Woodard with 1.9 seconds left. The Lancers extended the lead to 21-0 when Lauck connected with fullback Austin Guibor on a two-point conversion.
“We saw their secondary was playing off a lot to try and cover our deep routes,” Lauck said of his team’s second-half offensive adjustments. “We just threw quick routes and they eventually started coming up, so we beat them deep after.”
In the fourth quarter, the Lancers tacked on another two points when a low snap sailed through Toscano’s legs and rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety with 9:29 left. Less than two minutes later, the Lancers put the finishing touches on a four-play, 55-yard drive when Lauck connected with receiver Josh Carbonel for a 29-yard touchdown with 8:03 remaining.
Defensively, the Lancers limited Willow Glen’s offense to no farther than the Rams’ 45 on six drives in the second half, recording two sacks and a second interception by Domenic Andrighetto.