Time didn't move fast enough for Rancho

Rancho Cotate lost a heartbreaker to Las Lomas Saturday night on a 59 yard pass to Diante Jackson. It was hard to believe that Las Lomas still had a shot at winning after Rancho held the Knights twice on fourth downs in the final seven minutes. Jackson is an obvious talent, headed to Oregon. Las Lomas did a nice job of isolating Jackson with one-on-one coverage on the TD play.

It probably didn’t help that Rancho was missing two DBs and a linebacker to injuries — Garrett Johnson, Matt Egelhoff and Sergio Orduna. Rancho started slow, but an interception by Jonathon Torres set up an Eduardo Farias 32-yard field goal at the end of the first half, cutting Las Lomas’ lead to 14-3 and then Ben Kane put a big hit on the Knights’ kick returner, causing a fumble that was recovered by Steven Morales. Rancho scored on a tough 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line run by Cody Allen.

Rancho scored again on a Brian Dworkin 5-yard run with 7:05 left in the game and it was starting to look good for the Cougars. The ominous part was stopping Las Lomas on four down on one series and only about 20 seconds were taken off the clock.

Rancho holds again, but then can’t use up the remaining 2:29 and eventually punted with 54 seconds left. It took Las Lomas just two plays to score.

Rancho’s defensive line really didn’t put a lot of pressue on smallish QB Lucas Gorton, although Adam Murray deflected about four passes. Gorton didn’t have the strongest arm or most accurate, but to his credit he kept standing in the pocket or rolled out and continued to throw. He began the game 0-for-5 and had some of the ugliest passes you’ll see. Still, he threw for 225 yards on 15-of-34 passing.

Rancho ran the ball 42 times for 168 yards and Allen only threw for 47 yards.

An all-Empire Div. II championship game is caput. It’s Cardinal Newman vs. Campolindo and Los Lomas vs. Clayton Valley next week in the semis. It’s starting to smell like Newman vs. Clayton Valley and if it is it will be two 12-0 teams playing at Santa Rosa High in two weeks.