Pointers come back and hold off Hornets
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 09/11/17 - 01:36 PM | 2 2 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pointer fullback Mathew Fa'alele (30) prepares to take on a Lincoln defender during last week's thrilling 36-34 Dog victory. Fa'alele caught the winning touchdown pass with 34 seconds left to play.  / PHOTO BY CAMERON MAEVA
Pointer fullback Mathew Fa'alele (30) prepares to take on a Lincoln defender during last week's thrilling 36-34 Dog victory. Fa'alele caught the winning touchdown pass with 34 seconds left to play.  / PHOTO BY CAMERON MAEVA
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Fans at last Friday night's football game between Point Loma and Lincoln High Schools were treated to one of the best and most dramatic prep games in recent memory.

The Pointers emerged from the battle royale with a 36-34 victory, but only after the Hornets were given two plays to win the game by scoring from the Dogs' one-yard line – with 4 seconds and 1 second left on the stadium scoreboard. Both times they were stopped by a Pointer defense that, along with the offense, seemed to find new life in the second half after falling behind by as much as 22-7 earlier.

With 3:31 left to play and the Hornets clinging to a 34-29 lead, Pointer Jake Silva pounced on a fumble to give the Pointers a chance for one more drive. Pounding runs by Josh Ball (41 carries) and others brought the Dogs inside the Hornets' 10.

With 34 seconds left in the game, the Pointers scored the go-ahead touchdown when quarterback Kyle Grady found fullback Mathew Fa'alele open near the goal line and lofted an eight-yard scoring pass to the 240-pound senior for only the second Pointer lead of the game at 36-34.

The Pointers chose to go deep with the ensuing kickoff, and Hornet Da'Jon Thomas took the ball and weaved in and out of Pointers’ coverage, sending the hearts of fans of both sides into shock.

But a game-saving tackle by Pointer Johkyreian Shealey gave the Hornets the ball just 15 yards from a victory with 20 seconds left to set up the wild finish.

The next play saw the Hornets sweep left for 11 yards to the Pointer four-yard line with 8 seconds left.

The Hornets ran the first of their two "last plays" from an I-formation with 4 seconds showing.

Pointer coach Dave Aros later said there is "no way" the Hornets could have snapped the ball, made the exchange to the running back, who then had to run to the line of scrimmage and attempt to fight through a tangle of bodies and then be stopped and tackled, all in less than 4 seconds.

Yet the officiating crew determined there was still 1 second left and cleared the field for a second "last play."

The Pointers stuffed this final, final play to seal the victory and send emotions on both sides swirling in opposite directions.

"I'm really proud of the way we came together at the end," said senior lineman Davey Folsom, a 6-foot 4-inches tall, 315-pounder who plays both ways for the Pointers. "The coaches talked to us at halftime and told us we were a better team. We changed some coverages, put in some new guys and that shut them down. Lincoln is legit, they're a good team."

Folsom had three tackles, an assist, a sack and a fumble recovery and once again left several defenders flat on their backs after pancake blocks.

For the Pointers, the game marked their first victory under their popular new stadium lights and improved their record to 1-2. The Hornets (2-1) were undefeated entering the game.

It was also a game of big numbers.

The teams combined for 808 yards in total offense during the 48-minute game. Lincoln gained 428 yards on 64 plays (6.68 yards per play) and the Pointers added 380 yards on 79 plays (4.81 yards play). The teams combined for 52 first downs, the Pointers leading 27-25.

Individually, workhorse Ball's 162 yards with two touchdowns and a sack on defense led his team while Grady completed four of seven passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. He also had 35 yards rushing and scored twice.

Brian Yepez ran for 89 yards on 10 carries and Malik Moore gained 43 on six.

Defensively, JL Skinner had eight tackles and an assist, and his two pass interceptions stopped Hornet drives.

"We knew we were in for a real dogfight," head coach Mike Hastings said later. "Anytime we got down we just came back and answered. At halftime I could feel the energy was there. I had the feeling we had turned a corner and we were going to go out and win the game in the second half."

RAMONA 21, POINT LOMA 14

In a game played in temperatures above 100 degrees, Grady had an 81-yard touchdown run and completed 10 of 22 passes for 133 yards, including a 5-yard scoring pass to Cameron Auva'a. Ball carried only 17 times but picked up 92 yards for a 5.4 average.

Coming up for the Pointers are home games against Bonita Vista (0-3) tomorrow (Sept. 15) and Olympian (2-1) on Sept. 22. Both games kickoff at 6:30 p.m.

Extra points

An inconsiderate motorist parked blocking a driveway across the street from the Voltaire Street entrance to the stadium. The resident called the school to complain, but of course the school has no jurisdiction over on-street parking. The San Diego Police were then called and officers quickly had the Toyota 4Runner towed.

The Pointer JV team (1-2) picked up its first win against Lincoln (21-20) after losing to Ramona 16-14. The freshmen improved to 3-0 with wins over Ramona (40-0) and Lincoln (30-6).
Comments
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John Freeman
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September 12, 2017
Excellent game summary -- one of the most exciting games I've ever seen!

donszalay@yahoo.com
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September 13, 2017
Splendid job of reporting! Captured the spirit of this thrilling, nail biter of a game -- high school football at its best. As for the Pointers, truly their finest hour. A victory that will live long in the annals of Loman gridiron lore. Indeed, a game for the Ages.
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