Bell-Jeff Effort Just Falls Short!

October 21, 2009 by  

MEMORIAL FIELD: Despite playing well against a tough St Genevieve team, Guards can’t claim Santa Fe League win, 41-38. Chris Navarro was just too much for the Guards defense to handle.

The St. Genevieve High senior quarterback scored five times to lead the Valiants to a 41-38 win against host Bellarmine-Jefferson in Saturday night’s thrilling Santa Fe League opener at Memorial Field.

“I commend Navarro, he did a fantastic job,” Bell-Jeff football Coach Rolando Aguirre said. “He deserves all the recognition he gets. That kid is just unbelievable.”

Navarro ran the ball for 159 yards with four rushing touchdowns and threw the ball for 149 yards — which included a touchdown pass to Rose Winston, who was the only receiver in the game to break 100 receiving yards.

The game was a battle of the ranked in the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division, as the Valiants came in at No. 3 and the Guards were No. 7.

The Guards (4-3) were able to exploit their opponent’s defense in the game, compiling more than 400 yards of total offense — all but 60 coming on the ground.

Bell-Jeff’s Micah Shirley did his best to top Navarro, rushing the ball 15 times for 188 yards with three touchdowns.

“It was a really good game,” Shirley said. “I’m proud of my team. Everyone played hard.”

Alex Davidians also ran the ball well, totaling 131 yards and two touchdowns. He scored the game’s first touchdown on a 20-yard pass from Guards’ quarterback Brenden Alferez, who attempted four passes.

The first five possessions of the second half saw Navarro and Davidians do all they could to keep their respective teams in the game.

With his team trailing, 20-17, Navarro completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to Winston to give the Valiants (7-0) a 25-20 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Davidians’ three-yard touchdown run gave the Guards a one-point lead.

On the ensuing possession, Navarro answered with a two-yard touchdown run of his own to put his team back on top.

Davidians than capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive with a touchdown. The Guards, however, failed on the two-point conversion and the Valiants still led, 33-32.

Navarro scored what would later prove to be the game-winning touchdown on the next possession with his fourth touchdown run.

“I respect them, but I respect my team even more,” Davidians said. “You win some, you lose some, but we came to play.”

Shirley brought the Guards to within a field goal of tying the game after busting out to the outside and taking it into the end zone for 53-yard touchdown.

The Guards caught a break when the Valiants fumbled deep in Bell-Jeff territory, giving them one last drive to try and pull off the upset.

On the drive, St. Genevieve committed two penalties, costing them 30 yards, helping the Guards move the ball.

Alferez and the offense couldn’t capitalize, though, as their last two plays resulted in a sack and a fumble.

“We broke down at the end,” Aguirre said. “We put in two protectors after the sack, but then the bad snap happened. The play was for a receiver on the corner pattern who was in single coverage.”

The inability to stop Navarro is ultimately why the Guards lost the game. Then again, no other team has been able to stop him yet. On the season, Navarro has rushed for 1,060 yards and 25 touchdowns to go along with eight touchdown passes and 817 passing yards.

On this night, he guided the Valiants to another victory and a big edge over their league rivals. Bell-Jeff finished second to St. Genevieve in the Santa Fe League last season.

The Guards can take solace in the fact that they have come the closest to beating the undefeated Valiants thus far this season.

“This is one of the greatest games I’ve ever been associated with,” Aguirre said.

Bell-Jeff will take its positives, but still look to rebound next week when they welcome St. Monica in a league contest.

By Emin Avakian

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