Churchill rallies to victory in Gucci Bowl
In a game that struggled to find a spark, Churchill came through with a big fourth quarter to rally past Clark 28-21 in the Gucci Bowl on Thursday at Comalander Stadium.
Liam Capobianco snagged a 10-yard pass from Derek Perez with 0:17 remaining for the winning score.
It was the Chargers’ ninth win in a row against one of their fiercest rivals. Churchill now leads the all-time series 21-15-2.
Churchill trailed 21-13 entering the fourth quarter. The Chargers tied the game thanks to a time-consuming drive that took up most of the fourth quarter. Isaac Aleman capped a 60-yard, 14-play drive with a scoring run from a yard out that pulled the Chargers to within 21-19. Luke Rosas tied with a run around the right end for a 2-point conversion with 4:19 left.
The Chargers forced a three-and-out on the next drive. They took over at their own 49 and marched 51 yards over 10 plays that lead to Capobianco’s winning catch.
Clark trailed 13-7 at halftime before Eric Wente gave the Cougars a 21-13 lead with a pair of scoring runs.
The first — a 3-yarder at the 7:15 mark of the third quarter — was one play after John Cortinas — returned a blocked punt about 20 yards.
Clark then recovered an onside kick at Churchill’s 48.
The game was delayed about 45 minutes at halftime after the lights went out on the visitors side of the stadium about midway through the first half. A nearby transformer blew out and caused an electrical disruption at the stadium. There will still strong sunlight, so visibility wasn’t an issue in the first half.
Two banks of lights managed on the home side to keep the field partially lit. A set of portable lights were set up on the visitors’ side.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Churchill opened the scoring on a 2-yard run by Cameron Reyes at the 8:32 mark of the second quarter to a 6-0 lead. The nine-play, 44-yard drive was set up by Luke Rosas’ 40-yard punt return.
Clark took a 7-6 lead four minutes later when Luke Gibson snagged a 38-yard pass from receiver Kenneth Blivins, who took the ball on a reverse. The Cougars cashed in a fumble recovery by Camden Morgan on Churchill’s 45-yard-line.
The Chargers regained the lead, 13-7, on the ensuing drive when Jordan Campbell caught a 23-yard pass from Derek Perez with 26 seconds to go before halftime. Punter Nick Falsone kept the drive alive when he rambled 24 yards on a fake.
Churchill outgained Clark, 345-149. The Chargers rushed 61 times for 312 yards.