ATHERTON ——Though the song that blared inside a jubilant Sacred Heart Prep locker room Saturday afternoon was made long before any of the players were born, the song's title was most appropriate.
Asia's "The Heat of the Moment," a top selling single in 1982, was a great way to describe Sacred Heart's hard earned 42-20 win over visiting The King's Academy. The Gators withstood the heat of falling behind 14-0, a talented Knights offense that produced 356 yards and above all, an opposing running back in Amir Carlisle who possessed impressive speed and was elusive in avoiding tackles.
In the face of all these challenges, the Gators won the day for several reasons. The first reason was a well executed offense that registered 348 total yards and ate up huge chunks of the clock.
Another was the ability to get the big play on both defense and special teams when most needed.
The final reason was the players' ability not to panic after a slow start. Whereas lesser teams would come apart after failing behind by two touchdowns, the Gators simply regrouped and regained their focus.
"We're not a real emotional team, we're a good resilient group." said Sacred Heart coach Peter Lavorato. "We didn't call any wild plays when we got behind, we just ran our offense."
Sacred Heart (5-1, 1-1 PAL Bay) rushed for 276 yards. Running back Colin Terndrup had a majority of the rushing duties and responded with a team-high 142 yards on 21 carries. Terndrup's most important carry came with 6:30 left in the third quarter when he exploded 27 yards to the Knights' 27. The 5-11, 180-pound sound would later climax the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
The Gators also posses a quality passing game that can catch opposing defenses off-guard. Although quaterback John Geary passed just nine times on Saturday, he made the most of them. It was an 11-yard touchdown pass from Geary to Tyler McCool that gave Sacred Heart its first score early in the second quarter and changed the game's momentum.
Geary got another chance to stun King's Academy thanks to arguably the game's biggest play. With 28 seconds until halftime, Gators linebacker Matt Hardy intercepted a pass and returned it to the Knights' 15. On the next play, Geary rolled right and hit McCool for the touchdown and a 21-14 halftime lead.
"I tell you, our offense is amazing, we have a whole passing offense that nobody knows about," Lavorato said. "We practice all the time and we don't use it until we have to."
Sacred Heart's second big play came from its special teams late in the third quarter when Hunter Shaw blocked a punt. Four plays later, Robert Ojeda scored on a 6-yard run for a 35-20 edge.
The big challenge for the Gators defense was just trying to contain Carlisle, who gained 168 yards on 20 carries.
"They came out with a brand new offense which we never seen before, a regular I-back formation and (Carlisle) is so darn quick and hard to tackle," Lavorato said.
SACRED HEART PREP 42, THE KING'S ACADEMY 20
TKA 14 0 6 0--20
SHP 0 21 14 7--42
TKA -- Carlisle 3 run (Bostrom kick)
TKA -- Carlisle 18 run (Bostrom kick)
SHP -- McCool 11 pass from Geary (Odell kick)
SHP -- Robinson 1 run (Odell kick)
SHP -- McCool 15 pass from Geary (Odell kick)
TKA -- Carlisle 35 run (Bostrom kick)
SHP -- Terndrup 3 run (Odell kick)
SHP -- Ojeda 6 run (Odell kick)
SHP -- Lynch 40 fumble return (Odell kick)
The King's Academy -- Carlisle 20-168, Armi 6-20, Richardson 6-61, Chae 1-2. Totals: 33-251
Sacred Heart Prep -- McCool 13-86, Terndrup 21-142, Robinson 5-35, Ojeda 2-14, Geary 1-(minus 1). Totals: 42-276.
The King's Academy -- Recine 8-15-1-105.
Sacred Heart Prep -- Geary 5-9-0-72.
The King's Academy -- Pekary 1-18, Leong 2-21, McCormick 2-20, Richardson 1-10, Kmak 2-36.
Sacred Heart Prep -- O'Donnell 2-18, McCool 3-54.
The King's Academy -- 2/1
Sacred Heart Prep -- 0/0
Records -- Sacred Heart Prep 5-1, 1-1; The Kings Academy 3-3, 0-2.