(Rahshaun Haylock/CBS) — All season long, Mission Viejo and Servite have been the favorites to make it to Angel Stadium for the PAC-5 Championship. Friday night, the Diablos held up their end of the bargain with a semifinal win over Mater Dei. On Saturday, it was the Friars turn when they hosted an undefeated Alemany at Cerritos College.
In true Friar fashion, Servite made plays in all three phases of the game, handing Alemany (12-1) their first loss of the season 28-21. Kicker/Punter Connor Loftus made excellent plays in the kicking game that helped change the field position for the Friars. Loftus executed punts of 69 and 74 yards.
With Servite clinging to a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, Alemany attempted a field goal but it was blocked by Servite cornerback Jordan Jones, (who also had a third quarter interception). On the ensuing drive, Malik Felton broke free for a beautiful 63-yard touchdown run, tip toeing the Servite sidelines before gaining his balance and scurrying into the endzone with 29 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Friars increased their lead to 28-7 on a 12 yard touchdown reception by tight end Ainslie Johnson. But the Warriors responed with a 14-0 run led by the stellar play of Alemany quarterback, Vernon Adams. The senior connected on two fourth quarter touchdown passes. The first to wide receiver Jericho Richardson and the other to Corey Sims with just three minutes remaining in the game.
Adams was sensational, and did all he could to keep the Warriors in the game. He finished with 153 yards on the ground despite taking plenty of punishing blows from the Servite (13-0) defense and threw for 273 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but the Warriors ran out of time and likely out of gas. Alemany got the ball back with 20 seconds left in the game and no timeouts when Adams was sacked by Servite’s Jody Thomas. After being able to spike the ball, Alemany had one last play but Adams had no receivers open downfield and was forced to scramble before being pushed out of bounds 25 yards later.
Adams’ counterpart, Cody Pittman was effective as well. The first-year starter completed 13 of 15 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Pittman also had a rushing touchdown and had two rushing touchdowns called back because of holding penalties.
Now the stage is set for Servite to take on Mission Viejo, in an All-Orange County PAC-5 final for the second consecutive season. It will be a rematch of last season’s PAC-5 semifinal, a 19-18 win for Servite.