By BRIAN REED-BAIOTTO, Sports Editor | Photography by Ryan Tomey When Darius Perrantes is on top of his game, St. Francis is nearly unbeatable. Luckily for the Golden Knights, Perrantes is playing his best football of the year, as are his teammates. The junior quarterback threw for 5 TD passes and ran for two more […]
By BRIAN REED-BAIOTTO, Sports Editor | Photography by Ryan Tomey
When Darius Perrantes is on top of his game, St. Francis is nearly unbeatable.
Luckily for the Golden Knights, Perrantes is playing his best football of the year, as are his teammates.
The junior quarterback threw for 5 TD passes and ran for two more as St. Francis decimated visiting El Toro, 52-17, in the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs on Friday night, and in front of a packed and boisterous crowd at Friedman Field.
The Golden Knights earned their first title-game appearance since 1964, and best St. Francis will host the championship game with visiting Rancho Verde.
The Mustangs (11-2) defeated top-seeded Charter Oak, 41-22, in the other Division 3 semifinal.
CIF will determine over the weekend whether the game will be next Friday or Saturday, but either way, St. Francis will host.
Back to Perrantes.
He was an incredible 21 of 24 for 300 yards, and had TD passes of 58, 21, 12, 6 and 42 yards.
Perrantes also scored on runs of 7 and 1 yard in a game the Golden Knights never trailed.
Greg Dulcich, one of the three SF captains, is playing his best football as well.
The 6-foot-4 senior had 9 catches for 175 yards, including TD catches of 58, 6 and 42 yards.
Isaac Cordova recovered a fumble early that was caused by Malcolm Wallace and then had TD receptions of 21 and 12 yards.
Cordova finished with 5 catches for 75 yards, and did his part in the defensive backfield.
Wallace also picked off a pass and batted another down another in his first game in the line up for coach Jim Bonds.
Bonds, one of, if not the area’s most respected coach, is also making his first title game appearance in his 18 years at the helm.
Elijah Washington finished with 115 yards on 16 carries, and even though the captain didn’t score, he and Kevin Armstead ate up the clock in the second half and never giving the Chargers offense a chance to get back into the contest.
All the St. Francis seniors did something to help their team win, including an outstanding defensive effort from defensive ends Gabriel Grbavac and Matt Barriga.
Andrew Monarrez had a couple catches and did his part despite not feeling well.
Blake Howard continues to do a little of everything to make SF who they are, including catches, tackles and his kicking (kickoffs/punts).
Bobby Gazmarian picked off Cooper Jones, and the offensive and defensive lines were outstanding throughout.
Jones finished with 350 yards passing, including a 74 and 66-yard TD connections with El Toro’s Shane McLaughlin.
But the Golden Knights defense held the Chargers scoreless in the second half.
Nico Boschetti made all seven extra-point attempts and also converted on a 30-yard field goal to close out the scoring for the Golden Knights.
SF coach Jim Bonds: “I don’t really have a great answer for (why we dominated so much) other than we’re playing our best football. Two weeks in a row (Darius) has had two of his best games of the year. Our entire receiving corps this whole year have played well, and Greg and Isaac really played well tonight.”
SF captain Greg Dulcich: “I just wanted to make plays against whoever is guarding me and Darius put the ball in the right spot. Darius is such a good athlete and is really smart. He knows so much and finds the right guy and also knows when to throw it away.”
SF captain Elijah Washington: “Our defensive line was excellent all night. They put pressure on their quarterback all night. Darius is a great quarterback. He is young, but he is smart and gets the job done.”
SF senior Isaac Cordova: “I don’t think we ever complete a game plan 100 percent, but we were in the 90’s (percentage) tonight. I think I contributed pretty well and played pretty well on defense. I didn’t get beat deep. I just want our class (2018) to be remembered.”
SF junior Malcolm Wallace: “I am very excited, because I got to play for the first time and I was able to make plays. I know I can rely on my teammates and it takes pressure off of me.”
SF senior Blake Howard: “It’s been an amazing ride this year. We are a really tight-knit group and the feeling is unbelievable. Coach Gibbons had a great game plan to keep their QB in check and dominated.
SF sophomore Kevin Armstead: “I think it was a complete game. The offensive line did an awesome job. I am really proud of Darus. I think sometimes people sleep on him, and he proved them wrong tonight.”
SF junior Darius Perrantes: “Week by week we’ve gotten better. We have great chemistry on this team. Our offensive line is playing really well. My job was to take advantage of holes in their defense. Greg and Isaac have great chemistry with me and we worked together after practice this week.”
El Toro: 10-7-0-0-(17)
St. Francis: 21-21-7-3-(52)
SF: Darius Perrantes 7 run (Nico Boschetti kick)
SF: Greg Dulcich 58 pass from Darius Perrantes (Nico Boschetti kick)
ET: Shane McLaughlin 74 pass from Cooper Jones (Matt Freem kick)
SF: Darius Perrantes 1 run (Nico Boschetti kick)
ET: Matt Freem 35 FG
SF: Isaac Cordova 21 pass from Darius Perrantes (Nico Boschetti kick)
ET: Shane McLaughlin 66 pass from Cooper Jones (Matt Freem kick)
SF: Isaac Cordova 12 pass from Darius Perrantes (Nico Boschetti kick)
SF: Greg Dulcich 6 pass from Darius Perrantes (Nico Boschetti kick)
SF: Greg Dulcich 42 pass from Darius Perrantes (Nico Boschetti kick)
SF Nico Boschetti 30 FG
Records: El Toro (8-5); St. Francis (12-1).