Las Lomas 27, Washington 6
The Star: Las Lomas’ receiver Robbie Ow continued his hot streak, recording two fourth-quarter interceptions and recovering a fumble. He also added eight catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
The Turning Point: With only seconds remaining in the first half, Ow came down with a tipped pass in the back of the end zone to break the 6-6 tie with Washington. The improbable score gave Las Lomas a seven-point advantage at the half. Behind a stout defense the Knights shut out the Huskies the rest of the game.
The Quote: "Overall our defense played well. We forced (five) turnovers. We were sloppy on offense with all the penalties. We have to clean it up." — Las Lomas coach Doug Longero.
What's Next? Las Lomas next week hosts the winner of No. 7-seeded Concord against No. 10-seeded Newark Memorial. That game will be played Saturday night.
learned an important lesson Friday in Walnut Creek: Playoff victories do not need to be pretty.
On a frigid evening, the No. 2-seeded Knights knocked off No. 15-seeded Washington, 27-6, in a penalty-riddled contest, advancing to the second round of the North Coast Section Division II playoffs.
“To move on in this (tournament) you have to play cleaner,” said Las Lomas coach Doug Longero, whose team was penalized 13 times for 98 yards. “We were sloppy in the first half and we have to find a way to clean it up.”
The Knights were bolstered by a ball-hawking defense that forced five turnovers and did not allow a single positive yard for most of the first half.
Junior wideout Robbie Ow had another monster game, coming on the heels of his breakout performance last week against Acalanes.
“I just find my zone once I am in the game,” said Ow. “I just try to make plays early and keep making plays throughout the game. We watched film and saw their corners played off and ran routes to take advantage of that.”
Ow sealed the game with two fourth-quarter interceptions (on consecutive Huskies’ drives) and also caught two touchdown passes.
“He played great. He has really stepped up for us,” said Longero. “He has done a great job for us. He is going to be a great player. We are still a really young team.”
Knights’ quarterback Jackson Miller found a nice rhythm in his second start since coming back from injury. He connected on touchdown passes of four and 19 yards to Ow, and had a string of seven consecutive completions (the streak was snapped late in the third quarter).
The Knights continue to rotate quarterback Adam Wood and Miller as coach Longero searches for the hot hand.
Star runner Jake Villa rushed 21 times for 103 yards and a seven-yard touchdown. Villa also stepped in front of a Huskies pass for a nifty first-half interception.
Defensive linemen Mitch Frentescu had the biggest hit of the night, a sack on Washington’s quarterback, where he put his helmet perfectly on the football, forcing a fumble, while driving the quarterback onto his back.
Washington’s quarterback, Brandon Sewell, had the team’s longest play from scrimmage and recorded their only points on a 48-yard touchdown scamper, which tied the game with one minute remaining in the second quarter.
The Las Lomas defense performed well, the offense showed promise in spots but penalties bogged down a game that took nearly three hours to complete.
“The penalties killed us,” added Ow. “We were in the red zone three times and penalties pushed us out.”
Ow and Longero both stressed putting together a disciplined week of practice and studying the winner of No. 7-seeded Concord vs. No. 10-seeded Newark Memorial closely.
Notes: Several junior varsity and freshman players were added to the Knights’ playoff roster and saw action in the game. Las Lomas alum Marquis Waters returned to root on his former teammates. He just concluded his freshman season with Laney College, where he played running back and rushed for two scores in the teams’ final contest.
Las Lomas 27, Washington 6
Washington 0 6 0 0 — 6
Las Lomas 6 7 7 7 — 27
5:27, 1st: LL — Howard 23 field goal
3:39, 1st: LL — Howard 24 field goal
1:33, 2nd: W — Sewell 48 run (2pt conversion failed)
.23, 2nd: LL— Ow 19 pass Miller (Howard kick)
5:35, 3rd: LL — Ow 4 pass Miller (Howard kick)
3:41, 4th: LL — Villa 7 run (Howard kick)
Records: Washington 3-8. Las Lomas 9-2.