Following a thrilling come-from-behind win at Patrick Henry for their first victory of the season, Point Loma's Pointers lost the chance to establish a winning streak when an unidentified player tested positive for the COVID virus, forcing the cancellation of last week's game at Olympian High School.
The Pointers will have another opportunity when they meet Valley View High School of Moreno Valley in a rare Saturday game (Sept. 25). But a major construction portion of PLHS stadium improvements was inadvertently scheduled for Sept. 24-26 making the venue unavailable for what was to be the Pointers first true home game of the season. The game will be played at 2 p.m. on Sept. 25 at La Jolla High School.
Against Patrick Henry, the Pointers found themselves down 21-17 at halftime and 28-24 after three quarters before outscoring the Patriots 13-0 in the final period to seal a 37-28 win, the first for new head coach Joel Allen after racking up 100 victories during his tenure at Bishop's School in La Jolla. The game's significance was not lost on Allen.
"That was us a couple of weeks ago," said a relieved Allen after the game referring to the Patriots who imploded with multiple penalties killing their final drive. "It builds trust with the kids when we're telling them 'do these things and we'll be successful but when you come up on the losing side it's tough. This makes watching films tomorrow a lot easier."
The Pointers took a 14-7 lead on a pair of Noah Turbeville touchdown runs in the first quarter sandwiched around a long-running play score by the Patriots. But by halftime, the hosts had scored twice more while the Pointers added a field goal by Aaron Lee.
The second half began with promise as the Pointers recovered their own high and short kick at the Patriot 30. But on a fourth-down play just one yard from a go-ahead score, a Patriot defender picked off a Jackson Emerson pass and returned it 101 yards for a score that increased the Patrick Henry lead to 28-17. The Pointers could have folded following this apparent momentum-changing play.
But the Patriots never scored again and the Pointers found new life to score twice in the final frame and claim the victory.
On the second play following the ensuing kickoff, Emerson found an all-alone Kayden Nantkes for a 37-yard scoring pass to reduce the Patriot lead to 28-24. On their next possession, Nantkes caught a 30-yard pass en route to a touchdown by Chase Lowary. A blocked PAT left the Pointers back in the lead at 30-28 with 7:32 left to play.
A bizarre botched Patriot play led to the Pointer win.
From his own 15 yard line, the Patrick Henry QB took the snap in shotgun formation but turned and tossed the ball back to another player who attempted a punt. When the player dropped the ball to punt, he missed it with his foot and the Pointers covered the ball at the Patriot 10. From here, Lowary again scored for the final 37-28 score with 3:22 left to play.
Pointer players celebrated their first win by dumping a water container on a grinning Allen.
For the game, Emerson completed nine of 14 passes for 195 yards. His completions went to Nantkes (3 catches for 72 yards), Drake Cobb (2 for 25 yards), Aaron Lee (2 for 34 yards), and Lowary (2 for 64 yards).
On the ground, Lowary gained 83 yards on 15 carries while Turbeville added 79 yards on 14 carries, each averaging over five yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns as the Pointers totaled 393 yards in offense.
Defensively, Lowary totaled 24 tackles and assists, Gianni Calhoun had 10, Mauro Garcia and Max Umberg had five each and Anthony Young and Rocket Robinson each had four. Umberg also had a sack and Cameron Lucas had an interception. Fabian Moya and Charles Romero each recovered a Patriot fumble.
Following the game tomorrow, the Pointers next travel to Scripps Ranch on Oct. 1 for their first league game of the season. The Falcons, who boast a 4-0 record, are now the top-rated team in CIF Div. II while the Pointers have dropped to 16th (last) in computer rankings with the forfeit. The kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The Pointers had scheduled a bye week on Oct. 22 but Allen is attempting to find an opponent, allowing his team to play a full 10-game slate. The added game, on that date, would be in the middle of the team's four Eastern League contests.
Football boosters are putting over 100 game-worn Pointer football jerseys up for sale at $25 each. A full description, including color, jersey number, and size can be found at https://squareup.com/store/plhs-pa-football. Proceeds will be used to purchase new junior varsity uniforms.