Two interceptions by senior defensive back Brant Goss, including one midway through the fourth quarter, helped Class 4A No. 10 Roncalli secure a 20-7 victory against Class 2A No. 3 Scecina on Friday in a game that was played at the University of Indianapolis.
After appearing in two consecutive Class A state finals, the Crusaders are back in Class 2A for the first time since the 2006 season.
The Rebels (3-2), who forced four Scecina turnovers, won their 18th straight game against the Crusaders. With the exception of the 2002 season, Roncalli and Scecina (4-1) have played every year since 1969.
The most recent Crusaders win in the series was a 28-7 victory at Roncalli Stadium on Oct. 7, 1994.
Senior quarterback Cam Smock threw for one touchdown and ran for another as the Rebels totaled 270 yards of total offense while limiting the Crusaders to 211.
Trailing 14-7 in the fourth quarter, Scecina quarterback Nolan Ayres led a no-huddle offensive attack that helped the home team quickly march down field and into the Roncalli red zone, but Goss’ end zone interception with 8:05 left in the game halted the drive.
A 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive during the Rebels’ ensuing possession, which culminated in a three-yard touchdown run by Smock, secured the victory.
Sophomore running back Nate Fries led Roncalli’s ground attack with 62 yards on 18 carries, but senior David Holtkamp was close behind with 59 yards on 12 carries.
Playing only in the first half, junior Colin McManama rushed 11 times for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Smock was efficient through the air, completing 8 of 11 pass attempts for 88 yards.
The Crusaders’ leading ball carrier was senior Jordan Brown, who ran seven times for 36 yards.
Ayres completed 13 of 26 pass attempts for 137 yards but also threw three interceptions.
The Rebels opened the game with an 18-play, 80-yard drive that took nine minutes and 53 seconds and culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run by McManama.
Roncalli forced three Scecina turnovers in the opening half but managed to convert only one of those into points. Senior Aaron Schnell stopped a Crusaders’ drive late in the first quarter with an interception at the Rebels’ 17-yard line.
Senior Evan Cahill recovered a fumble on the Scecina 14-yard line late in the second quarter. With 25 seconds remaining until intermission, Holtkamp caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Smock.
Goss intercepted a pass during the Crusaders’ next possession as Roncalli carried a 14-0 lead into halftime.