“The catch” video and Aaren Lewis comments
BREA – Brea Olinda built plenty of momentum for the upcoming playoffs by defeating visiting Foothill, 18-16, on a leaping, 23-yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Aaren Lewis on the final, stunning play in the teams’ Century League football game Thursday.
The Wildcats (8-2, 4-2) started the game’s final drive on their 49 with only 15 seconds left and no timeouts. But quarterback Nick Ceja completed passes of 8 and 20 yards to Jordan Brown and Lewis, respectively, to move the ball to the Foothill 23 with four seconds left.
On the final play, Ceja rolled to his left, scrambled to his right and threw on the run to the end zone. Foothill had five players covering two receivers: Lewis and running back Josh Vizcaya.
Lewis made the catch in the back of the end zone with no time left on the clock, igniting a wild celebration.
“We always believe in ourselves,” Lewis said. “Nick just had a great scramble and I just got open in the end zone. … It was a great ball by Nick.”
Both teams are headed to the playoffs but are battling Esperanza (3-2 in league) for second place behind Villa Park (6-0). The Aztecs can force a three-way tie for second place by defeating El Modena on Friday.
A coin-flip after the Esperanza-El Modena game would then decide the order of the league’s playoff entry for spot 2-4, said Brea Olinda boys athletic director Mike Knaus.
Foothill (6-4, 4-2) took a 16-12 lead with 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-5 from quarterback Jack Gilchrist to wide receiver Cartson Good. The Knights’ two-point conversion pass failed.
Two penalties hurt Foothill.
The Knights was called for unsportsmanlike conduct before the ensuing kickoff and then were offside. They ended up kicking off from their 20. Lewis received the kickoff at his about 30 and Brea Olinda ran the starburst kickoff play to its 49.
Brea Olinda coach Robb Perrance was in tears after the game.
“As long as there is a tick on the clock, these guys have life,” he said. “I can’t even talk. .. I’m so proud of these guys.”
Brea Olinda took a 12-10 lead with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter on a 35-yard field goal by sophomore Thomas Bouldin. Foothill spent its two remaining timeouts in trying to make the stand but still drove to take the lead. The Knights converted an earlier fourth-and-5 thanks to an offside call against Brea Olinda with 56 second left.
Brea Olinda’s Derek Anderson set up the field goal by returning his interception at the Wildcats 5 to the Foothill 17 with 3:11 left.
Yes, it was a wild and intense fourth period. Trailing 10-9 early in the fourth, Brea Olinda converted a gutsy, fourth-and-4 from its 39. And earlier on the Foothill drive Anderson ended with the interception, Gilchrist took a huge hit just after releasing a pass that turned into 51-yard completion to Noah Stillman.
Gilchrist passed for 331 yards while Stillman had eight receptions for 172 yards.
The game also featured an amazing six lead changes.
But in the end, Brea Olinda claimed the victory and its highest win total since its 13-0, Division IX title season of 2001.