2016 Playoff vs Mission

The Future Shines in Lions End-of-Season Play­off Loss

Galileo V 06–19 25
Mis­sion V 22–27 49

cmg_4221-copy A Galileo fum­ble by fresh­man run­ning back, Yarvell Smith on the open­ing kick­off allowed Mis­sion to take a 6–0 lead in the first minute of the 2016 play­off game at Kezar. The Lions mounted an answer but an ille­gal for­ma­tion flag nul­li­fied a touch­down pass from Adrian Poot to Jackie Guo. The Bears would add another touch­down before Smith scored from 24-yards out to put the Lions on the board. Galileo’s play­off inex­pe­ri­ence was notable in the open­ing half as Mis­sion reclaimed momen­tum with another score right before half­time to take a 22–6 lead and all the air out of the Lions’ sails.

Kick­ing off the sec­ond half, Galileo allowed Mis­sion to increase their lead by miss­ing mul­ti­ple tack­les dur­ing that series, giv­ing the Bears a com­mand­ing 3-score lead. With a quiet side­line and a feel­ing of doom and gloom, things got worse when Galileo’s quar­ter­back, Poot was injured. Sopho­more quar­ter­back, Ronald Fox, in his sec­ond var­sity game, filled in admirably and most impor­tantly, helped elec­tri­fied his team and the Lions’ fans by mak­ing a bull­ish QB draw straight up the mid­dle of the field, break­ing a few tack­les with his 145-pound frame. The side­line went buzzing again and the Lions remem­bered that this game was sup­pose to be fun and fun they had the rest of the way. So much so, if you walked into the sta­dium in the fourth quar­ter, you would have thought Galileo was winning.

Fox would find Guo for a 10-yard con­nec­tion to open the fourth quar­ter. Then Mis­sion would answer. Galileo would go on another long drive end­ing with a 1-yard plunge for Smith. Mis­sion would punt on the ensu­ing pos­ses­sion but a rookie mis­take by Fox led to a Bears’ pick-6 to make it a 49–19 game. Unde­tered, Fox con­tin­ued to march Galileo down the field with Smith scor­ing for a third time on a 5-yard run. Then, junior kicker, Erik Arias made the most excit­ing Galileo play of the game-Arias looked like he was going to onside kick to the left side then “Rabona” kicked (cross-kick) to the right. A Mis­sion front man muffed the ball and Arias almost recov­ered the kick with team­mate, Nolan Pre­ci­ado pro­vid­ing a block on the near­est Bears’ player. In the end, it was Anto­nio Lewis who recov­ered it for the Lions. Fox got on the field and the offense kept hum­ming along as time expired.

Smith fin­ished his fresh­man cam­paign with another AAA-RB-of-the-Year-worthy stat­line; 343 all-purpose yards, rushed 16/141, received 7/78, returned 7/124.

Despite giv­ing up 42 points, Galileo’s defense had it’s moments; defen­sive tackle Johan Lacayo picked off a pass, line­backer Miles Main­ini caused a fum­ble recov­ered by Smith at the 5, defen­sive end Yousef Saber recov­ered an ill-advised Bears’ back­wards pass, and of course, that onside kick thing.

Galileo fin­ished league-play los­ing their last 3 games that could have gone either way prior to the play­off game. The play­off loss is an indi­ca­tion of what the league will be fac­ing next sea­son; a sopho­more ver­sion of Yarvell Smith; the deadly pass­ing game with Poot, Guo, and Erasmo Rivas; an all-city cal­iber cen­ter in Ahmed Balwi; a strong full­back in offen­sive tackle Johan Lacayo as evi­dent when he took a dive play for 43 yards against the Bears; and all the speed in the world on defense with the likes of DB’s Anto­nio Lewis and Fox.