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Semi-finals: FC to host Orcutt Academy, Nov. 9

UPDATE: Nov. 8 — A donor has generously volunteered to pay the entrance fee (ticket) for any FCS student who shows their Fresno Christian ID at the gate for the semi-final football game against Orcutt Academy, Nov. 9.

Eagles football entered the post season with a 6-1 league record (9-1 overall), earning them a home playoff match vs Desert High (4-6 overall), Nov. 2. The competition filled the stands and Nut House for the fourth home game of the year.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Aaron Lacroix, No. 6, jukes tacklers and scores a touchdown. LaCroix scored 18 of the Eagle’s 57 points, Nov. 2.

After FC ensemble, Bellezza, sang the National Anthem, the Eagles took the field to receive the kickoff. Aaron LaCroix, ’19, gave the crowd an early reason to cheer by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. After the game, head coach Russ Counts said the play described the rest of the night.

I think there’s a lot of favorite moments,” Counts said. “But the opening kickoff, running that back, was really a tone-setter. And it was exciting, really exciting.”

The Eagles dominated the first half, leading 50-0, ultimately defeating the Scorpions, 57-0.

LaCroix scored two more touchdowns that quarter and finished the game with 120 rushing and receiving yards. Six other Eagles added to the scoreboard during the  game, including Richie Cortez with a two-point conversion and five PATs. Marcus James, ’20, with a pick-six, and Blake Burdan, ’20, with two rushing TDs.

Safety, QB, and wide receiver Jonah Lozano, ‘19, played a key role in keeping the game a shutout. After a pass interference call placed Desert High on the Eagles one-yard line, Lozano made his first of two interceptions. With help from the entire depth chart, Fresno Christian held the Scorpions to under 100 yards of offense.

Bryce Foshee, ’21, interviewed FC football coach Russ Counts on the field after the game.

Fresno Christian ran for 203 yards and earned 95 through the air, finishing with 298 total offensive yards. The Scorpions threw four interceptions and were held to only 24 yards of rushing.

As the No. 2 seed in the Central Section CIF Le Schwab (8-Man) championships, Fresno Christian hosts No. 3 seed Orcutt Academy in their next playoff match, Nov. 9. Coach Counts anticipates the challenge the rest of the season.

“We’ve got film; we’ve our got experience with them last time we played them, and now we just got to go back and put the work in,” Counts said. “We need to be intelligently ready to play. The rest of the season is real, hard competition. It’s about playing up to your level, and that’s what playoffs do. Each week it gets tougher and tougher and that’s what makes it really exciting.”

Junior Logan Lewis attends 5th quarter where he talks with junior Marcus James about the Eagle victory, Nov. 2.

In the other semi-final, No. 1 Mission Prep plays No. 4 seed Riverdale Christian. The winners of the Nov. 9 games will play in the CIF Central Section (8-Man) Valley Championship, Nov. 16. Even if FC defeats Orcutt Academy, this will likely be the final home game of the year as the Eagles lost to Mission Prep earlier this season. Student tickets cost $5, adult are $7 and senior (65+) are $5. Students w/ID are $5. Gates and concessions open at 6:30 p.m. A pulled pork monster nacho plate ($6) tops the concession list. Come support your Eagles!

The video below shows highlights of last Friday’s game against Desert High School, Nov. 2:

For more football articles, read Football Recap: Fresno Christian vs. Kings Christian and Richie Cortez interviews Darrin Williams on FC football.

Bryce Foshee can be reached via Twitter @brycer_f and via email.

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