Roncalli can’t hang on against Plainfield


Roncalli was hoping to erase the bitter memory of last week’s lopsided loss against Chatard.

Instead, the Class 4A No. 10 Rebels have another memory they’ll want to erase after losing a 21-17 thriller against visting Class 5A No. 13 Plainfield pm Friday night.

This game hurt worse than the Chatard loss because Roncalli (1-3) had controlled much of the game.

“In many ways this does (hurt worse),” Roncalli coach Bruce Scifres said. “We certainly had opportunities many times, but we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and missed chances.”

Roncalli had no problem moving the ball against the Quakers and didn’t punt once.

But when the Rebels got within the Quakers’ 10-yard line, they tended to stall. It happened twice in the first quarter, and all the Rebels had to show for it was a 26-yard field goal by junior Patrick Sandler.

Sandler then misfired on a 34-yarder.

The missed scoring opportunities would haunt in the second half.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Scifres said. “We couldn’t put the points on the board.”

That did change for the Rebels on their third try in the red zone, though. Kenny Gillum scored on a 4-yard run, which was  set up by a 38-yard run teammate Nate Fries.

After a 6-yard touchdown run by the Quakers’ Dylan Foster, Roncalli answered again with Fries walking in from a yard out to give Roncalli a 17-7 lead.

Plainfield then changed its game plan in the second half, adjusting to Roncalli’s offensive firepower and at the same time using its bigger line to wear down the Rebels.

Plainfield buckled down defensively and cranked up its offense, scoring a pair of touchdowns to take the lead.

Two touchdowns, one a 26-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Zoss to Dawson Anderson, gave the Quakers the lead.

With 6:54 left, and Roncalli was driving for go-ahead score. But quarterback Robbie Strader was intercepted in the end zone by Cory Bennett.

Plainfield tried to run out the clock but was forced to punt, giving the Rebels one last chance at their own 20 with 2:55 left.

But penalties hurt Roncalli in the closing minutes, and the Quakers (3-1) held on for the win.

“We didn’t move the ball in the second half, and we couldn’t stop them,” Scifres said. “We looked strong at times, but other times we didn’t.”

Roncalli plays Scecina at Tech High School on Friday.

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Ken Severson is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.