SF Preps: Lowell goes wild, SI clinches share of title

AAA football teams jockey for playoff position, girls’ volleyball action set for this weekend

St. Ignatius 14 vs. Serra 13: Jafer Snipes and Beau Gardner teamed up to stop Serra’s Nate Sanchez on a two-point conversion attempt with 1:15 left to snap a 13-year losing streak to the Padres and win St. Ignatius (8-2, 6-1 WCAL) a share of its first WCAL title since 2006.

The Wildcats had taken a two-score lead into halftime on a pair of touchdown passes from Teddye Buchanan (19-of-24 passing, 175 yards; 14 carries for 56 yards) to Danny Ryan (nine catches for 121 yards), then had a chance to go up two scores late before a blocked field goal gave Serra (9-1, 6-1) life.

Padres quarterback Dominique Lampkin broke a tackle to convert a fourth-and-10 with the game on the line, then completed four passes to Terence Loville to lead a remarkable comeback attempt, including a six-yarder to the front corner of the end zone. Damon Lewis then drilled the extra point that would have tied the game, but Snipes was called for roughing the kicker. After a lengthy discussion, the Padres chose to take the point off the board and go for the lead, but Snipes and Gardner made the stop to keep the Wildcats in front.

Mike Harrison recovered the onside kick to seal the win and set off a wild celebration for a team that won an improbable league title after posting four straight losing seasons. St. Ignatius opens the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs this Saturday at home against Mitty. The Wildcats are seeded third, with WCAL co-champions Serra and Valley Christian holding the top two spots. Five of the eight teams in the field are from the WCAL. Read more in our online recap.

Lincoln 17 vs. Balboa 14 (2 OT): Defense propelled the Mustangs to their 11th straight AAA win, producing two safeties and stopping the Buccaneers in both overtime periods. Kevin Murrieta hit a game-tying 33-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, then made a 25-yarder in overtime to give Lincoln (7-1, 5-0 AAA) a Senior Day victory. Balboa (4-5, 4-1) got two short touchdown runs from Jeno Lui and 168 passing yards from Raiden Thien-Jones, while Luis Contreras took on an immense workload for Lincoln, running 51 times for 268 yards. Balboa will host Mission on Friday in a preview of the teams’ semifinal matchup. The winner will earn home field for the rematch the following week.

Riordan 44 vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral 7: The Crusaders made Mayer Family Field’s grand opening an occasion to remember, snapping a 16-game WCAL losing streak and winning a league game in regulation for the first time since 2015. Aden Jackson returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown and Lavaka Kefu dominated on his Senior Day, with 16 carries for 177 yards and three touchdowns as Riordan (3-7, 1-6 WCAL) opened up a 27-0 halftime lead and finished the game with a running clock. Sacred Heart Cathedral (0-10, 0-7) got on the board in the third quarter on a Tyrice Ivy Jr. 11-yard touchdown reception from Cian Dowling. The win marked Riordan’s first Stanfel Cup victory since 2015. Read more in our online recap, with photo gallery.

Lowell 61 vs. Galileo 0: Sophomore quarterback Reese Miller threw for 287 yards and ran for another 120 as the Cardinals posted their most points in a game since 2012 and kept hope alive for their first playoff berth since 2013. Lowell (4-4-1, 2-3 AAA) got a 45-yard receiving touchdown by Lawrence Jiang and a pair of rushing touchdowns from both Benjamin Ng and Ronald Pollack. The defense picked off four Galileo (1-8, 1-4) passes, with two apiece from Jeremiah Hizon and Kevin Montecinos, including a Montecinos pick-six. Lowell will travel to Burton on Friday afternoon in what is effectively a play-in game for the fourth and final AAA playoff spot.

Burton 34 vs. Washington 20: Just as the Cardinals held up their end of the deal to turn Friday’s showdown into a play-in game, so did the Pumas, who opened up a 20-point lead and held on late. Washington (0-9, 0-6) entered the day having scored just two touchdowns all season but put up a valiant fight in its final game, finding the end zone on Steven McKee passes to Kaylan Patel and Timothy Lui. A Justin Manalo fumble return touchdown in the fourth quarter cut the lead to 28-20 before Burton (4-4, 2-3) scored one last time to put the game away.

Volleyball: The Sacred Heart Cathedral (28-5) girls’ volleyball team swept Mitty on Saturday night (25-23, 25-21, 25-15) to win its second consecutive CCS Open Division Championship. The Fightin’ Irish earned the second seed in the Northern California Open Division bracket and will play at home on Saturday night against the winner of Sacramento-St. Francis and Oakland-Bishop O’Dowd. Marin Catholic (33-3) has the top seed. University is seeded sixth in Division II, AAA champion Lowell is sixth in Division III, Lincoln is sixth in Division IV and both Convent and Urban are in Division V, with the Cubs seeded seventh and Blues holding the ninth spot.

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