Saturday, September 02, 2000

La Salle 13, Sycamore 12

McQuaide: 'A big win for our program'

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LaSalle suffered a figurative lightning strike, then watched the real thing light the sky. After an hour to regroup, the Lancers answered with their own bolts.

        Following a lengthy lightning delay, they flashed their quick-strike capabilities and rallied for a 13-12 victory Friday night at Sycamore, ending a streak of four con secutive losses in the series.

        “This is a big win for our program,” La Salle coach Jim McQuaide said. “We hung in there, kept fighting and didn't give up.”

        The victory gave LaSalle a thunderbolt of confidence. For after wasting a golden scoring opportunity just before halftime, which left it behind 12-0, the seventh-ranked Lancers showed the mettle they'll need to contend in the razor-tough Greater Catholic League-South.

        “This showed we can play with adversity and come back and win,” senior quarterback Reggie Watson said. “We're tired of coming in last in the GCL. I think we can win in that league. I think we'll win the league.”

        Their first bolt Friday was a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown by Scott Becker. Then a 25-yard TD pass from Watson to Greg

        Grote. Then a final strike by the defense, detonating Sycamore's last-ditch drive.

        Stirring as the win was, don't start making playoff plans just yet.

        Here is the rest of the Lancers' schedule: Boone County, Canton McKinley, Moeller, Elder, St. Xavier, East Central (Ind.), Purcell Marian and Colerain. They may not be favored in any of those games.

        “With our schedule, there's not one game we can overlook,” McQuaide said.

        LaSalle had vowed not to allow a repeat of last year, when Sycamore raced to a 21-0 first-quarter lead.

        Yet it happened again.

        Before LaSalle touched the ball, Sycamore scored two TDs in the first 138 seconds.

        Michael Hull caught a 51-yard touchdown pass. Then LaSalle let go the ensuing kickoff, thinking it was headed out of bounds, only to watch Sycamore senior Shawn Alexander pounce on the ball at the LaSalle 26.

        A minute later, Aviators QB Ashwin Corattiyil scored on a 1-yard run to make it 12-0.

        The Lancers nearly scored just before the half, driving to the Sycamore 4. Then came the anguish.

        A potential TD pass was dropped. And with 11 seconds and two timeouts left, Watson burned the rest of the time scrambling and diving for the corner of the end zone. But he was knocked out at the goal line and ruled just short, just as the clock clicked to zero.

        Just as a 20-minute halftime ended, lightning was spotted. A new rule requires at least a 30-minute delay in those instances.

        The total delay wound up being 45 minutes, so there were 65 minutes for LaSalle to digest that bitter pill.

        “We were sitting in the air conditioning (in the locker room), getting antsy,” Wat son said. “We knew we could come back.”

        When play resumed, LaSalle came back. On Sycamore's first possession of the second half, Becker picked off that pass to get LaSalle on the board.

        LaSalle soon followed with two big Watson passes: one to Matt Knueven for 22 yards, the other to a wide-open Grote for the go-ahead score.

        “Our defense hung in there and turned the game around,” McQuaide said.

        La Salle ....... 0 0 13 0—13

        Sycamore ....... 12 0 0 0—12


S--Hull 51 pass from Corattiyil (kick failed)

        S--Corattiyil 1 run (pass failed)

        L--Becker 77 interception return (kick failed)

        L--Grote 27 pass from Watson (Bowling kick)

        Records: La Salle 2-0, Sycamore 1-1.


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Anderson 27, Milford 17
Batavia 30, Franklin Furnace 6
Beechwood 34, Lloyd 7
Bethel-Tate 12, Deer Park 10
Boone County 16, Hamilton Badin 10
Colerain 47, Hughes 6
Conner 48, South Dearborn 0
Fairfield game postponed
Finneytown 28, Hillsboro 7
Franklin 30, Little Miami 27
Glen Este 28, Miami Trace 21
Harrison 34, East Central 33
Highlands 41, Campbell County 14
Holmes 50, Holy Cross 0
Indian Hill 51, Norwood 0
- La Salle 13, Sycamore 12
Lakota West 38, Amelia 6
Madeira 38, CHCA 0
Mariemont 44, Bishop Hartley 14
McNicholas 49, Western Brown 0
Miamisburg 16, Loveland 13
New Miami 14, Bridgemont 13
New Richmond 40, Goshen 14
Newport 20, Dayton 8
Northwest 23, Mount Healthy 12
Roger Bacon 24, Wyoming 14
Simon Kenton 15, Dixie Heights 9
Springfield South 22, Hamilton 19
St. Xavier 36, Princeton 18
Summit Country Day 13, Reading 10
Talawanda 21, Lakota East 13
Taylor 27, North College Hill 0
Turpin 14, Walnut Hills 8
Western Hills 27, Oak Hills 24