Quick start, fast finish give Mission victory

Bears continue playoff push by beating Washington

The sound of Jairo Majano’s extra-point attempt slamming through the uprights and into the School of the Arts scoreboard in the final minutes of the Mission football team’s 30-13 win over Washington served as a virtual death knell for the Eagles’ Academic Athletic Association playoff aspirations.

For Mission (4-5, 3-3 AAA), Majano’s kickwas merely a side note in a game teeming with highlights, including Greg Tucker passing for 120 yards and two touchdowns as the Bears put themselves in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot. The first of those touchdowns came only 18 seconds into the game when Tucker and Harry Howard connected for a 44-yard score.

Despite the Eagles’ best efforts to recover, Mission scored on its next drive. This time, Anthony Layton received Tucker’s pass for a 25-yard touchdown.

Washington (2-6, 2-4) did not score until the second quarter, when Mission’s failure to get a first down gave the Eagles the ball on their own 38-yard line. Derf Butler then found Keith Smith, who despite being flanked by defenders, caught the ball for a 61-yard touchdown to pull within 14-7.

The score revived the Eagles who, over the next four plays, sacked Tucker twice. The revival continued into the second half and pressured Mission into kicking a field goal with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

With 3:11 left in the game, Butler twice hooked up with Anthony Marshall, first on a 30-yard completion, then finishing the drive with a 13-yard touchdown, making the score 17-13. Both teams braced for a nail-biter. The tension, however, would be short-lived.

After their touchdown, the Eagles attempted an onside kick. Instead of allowing Washington to retain possession, the play handed Mission the the ball at the 50. D’Angelo Winston then answered opportunity’s call, running the full 50 yards for a touchdown.

With 35 seconds left, the 60-yard interception return for a touchdown by Mission’s Julian Brown sealed the deal. The Bears were already looking toward next week’s game against Galileo in which they need to win to clinch the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, while the Eagles knew they had let a great chance to move closer to a playoff berth slip away.

“I think people do better things when their backs are against thewall,” Mission coach Carl Sullivan said. “I think everyone was real focused.”

Lowell 33, Burton 6

Facing a tie game midway through the third quarter against an increasingly confident underdog, Lowell figured out a foolproof plan to melt all of Burton’s momentum — not relinquish the ball.

After Burton tied the score at 6-6 on Lonnell Britton’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Tyre’ Ellison with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter, Lowell held the ball for nearly 12 minutes, scoring three touchdowns and recovering two consecutive onside kicks on its way to a AAA win. The Cardinals ran 29 plays before the Burton offense could get back onto the field.

Quarterback Carter Rockwell ran for three touchdowns for Lowell

(8-1, 6-0 AAA), which gained all of its 310 yards on the ground. Marcos Cronander led the Cardinals with 109 yards on 13 carries, including a 1-yard score with 6:34 left in the game that made it 26-6 and ended Lowell’s remarkable hold of the possession.

Burton (2-6, 2-4) played extremely well through the first three quarters, limiting the Lowell attack and stopping the Cardinals on downs four times, including twice inside the Pumas 15-yard line.

— Matt Elliser

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