An improbable comeback for Garces fell just short in a thrilling loss to La Canada-St. Francis on Saturday night at Sam Tobias Field.
Despite a 36-0 run for the Golden Knights to open the second half, Garces had a chance to win the game before Travis Plugge’s final throw was intercepted by Alejandro Ramirez at the 1-yard line as St. Francis held on for a 48-42 win over the Rams.
Garces led 28-14 at the half despite running just 16 offensive plays in the first half.
Junior linebacker Logan Bowers ran a fumble recovery back 56 yards for the first score of the game for Garces (1-1), and Zion Hall scored twice before halftime on a 90-yard kick return and caught a 27-yard pass from Plugge.
But St. Francis (2-1) running back Max Garrison was an unstoppable force, rushing 39 times for 263 yards and four touchdowns as the Golden Knights led 48-28 with 9:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Then Plugge, who threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns, scored on a run from 16 yards out. Then sophomore Julian Smith recovered the ensuing onside kick for Garces.
The Rams scored on the drive on a 2-yard scoring run by Ian Jernagin to cut the lead to 48-42 with 45 seconds to play.
Again, Julian Smith recovered the onside kick for Garces, but Plugge’s final pass ended the game.
Garces hosts state-ranked No. 8 Chatsworth-Sierra Canyon next Saturday at 5 p.m.