Prep Football: Rancho Bernardo High dealt another devastating loss
By Michael Bower
The Rancho Bernardo High football team marched down the field, trailing Mt. Carmel by seven points in the final minutes Friday night. The Broncos had thoughts of doing what the Sundevils had done to them a season ago – win the game as time expired.
But Mt. Carmel’s Kory Fox had other ideas.
Fox hauled in the third interception of the night for the Sundevils and returned it 100 yards for a score as the clock ran out. The game-ending, pick-six cemented Mt. Carmel’s 37-24 victory, and left the Broncos and their home crowd stunned for the second year in a row.
“I was thinking it was going to be the opposite of last year,” said Broncos running back Ivy Adair, who put up a career-best 281 yards rushing on 39 carries. “We gave them time last year to come back and now we had time this year to come back. I was 100-percent confident we were going to score.”
Last season Mt. Carmel scored on a last-second field goal to pull out a thrilling 30-28 win over the Broncos. This time Rancho Bernardo had a chance to tie or pull ahead as the clock hit all zeros, but the 14-play, potential game-winning drive ended with Fox and Mt. Carmel hoisting the Rotary Cup trophy once again.
It was the Broncos’ second heartbreaking loss on their home turf this season. Rancho Bernardo fell to Escondido in the final minutes in Week 1, and are now off to a 0-3 start for the first time since 2006. Meanwhile, Mt. Carmel (3-0) has opened the year with three straight wins for the first time since 2006.
“This is really tough,” Adair said. “We just have to get out there and practice and go hard and focus. We need to keep moving forward.”
Things were going great for the Broncos in the first half. They took a 21-7 lead on a pair of Adair touchdown runs and a Michael Searson quarterback sneak from a yard out. Then Tyler Nicholson killed a Mt. Carmel drive with an interception at the Broncos 1 with 2:35 left in the first half.
But things turned sour quickly.
Adair was brought down in the end zone for a Sundevils’ safety. Fox hit Tevin Malone in stride for a 53-yard score a little over a minute later, and Deion Alston capped off the disastrous final minutes with a 50-yard interception return for a score to give Mt. Carmel a 23-21 lead at halftime.
“I think we all expected the last couple of minutes of the half to just go by and we would take the lead into the locker room,” Adair said. “But you have to play the whole half. We let up and it hurt us.”
The Broncos took a 24-23 lead on John Tapia’s 42-yard field goal with four minutes to go in the third quarter. Rancho Bernardo held the lead deep into the fourth quarter, but Robbie Halliburton busted loose for a 66-yard touchdown run with 3:31 to go to put Mt. Carmel ahead for good.
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