High school football: Sacred Heart Prep kicks late field goal to beat Los Gatos in chaotic Friday matinee

Sacred Heart Prep quarterback Mitchell Taylor (6) fumbles the ball on a keeper against Los Gatos in the fourth quarter at Sacred Heart Schools Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Atherton, Calif. (Photo by Jim Gensheimer)

ATHERTON — It was expected that Los Gatos and Sacred Heart Prep were going to play a close game. It turned out to be a chaotic classic.

In a game with more turnovers (seven) than punts (four) and scoring plays (three), Sacred Heart Prep kicker Sean Tinsley made an 18-yard field goal with 7.8 seconds left to give the Gators a 10-7 win over the Wildcats on Friday afternoon in Atherton.

In total, nine drives ended in opponents’ territory without points scored and there were turnovers on the first six drives of the second half. While each offense was able to move the ball, the defenses made plays when they needed to, keeping the score headlocked at 7 until nearly the very end.

“A lot did happen,” Sacred Heart Prep coach Mark Grieb said with a laugh. “I’m just so proud of the effort. There’s just no quit.”

Tinsley got a shot at a go-ahead 42-yard field goal with three minutes left, but a bobbled snap and subsequent hurried kick was blocked. The Gators used their final timeouts to get the ball back with 1:45 left, though it looked like we were heading for overtime when a Los Gatos sack set up third and 16 from midfield.

But Mitchell scrambled right and, instead of taking a sack or going out of bounds, took a knee before getting hit late by a Wildcat defender. The personal foul penalty gave the Gators 15 yards and a fresh set of downs and 15 yards, which they quickly used to drive to the goal line.

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A first-and-goal rush from the seven with 20 seconds left was stopped in bounds at the 1-yard line and, with the clock running, the Gators appeared to have a snap infraction. But after a lengthy discussion, the four-man officiating crew penalized Los Gatos for being offside, which stopped the clock.

Grieb admitted he debated going for the touchdown, but he wanted to give Tinsley a chance to “be in that moment,” especially after pushing him to the edge of his range earlier. For Tinsley, he appreciated the shot at redemption.

“There’s always a bitter taste in my mouth [after missing],” Tinsley said. “There’s not a whole lot of pressure because it’s a tie game, but I obviously didn’t want to let the guys down.”

Tinsley made the kick, then hit a squib kick that Los Gatos fell on at their own 20, giving the Wildcats one final play with

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

      

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