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Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Nuthouse fans dress up for snowy weather with the “Frosted Football” theme, Nov. 9.

FC advances to fourth consecutive championship game

Regardless of the outcome, the Orcutt game was the last home game of the football season, Nov. 9. Leadership set a Nuthouse theme of  ‘Frosted Football’, and provided the snow via a snow machine and the basis for the wintry theme.

After the Orcutt Spartans received the opening kickoff, they soon turned the ball over to Griffin Schmidt, ’19, who made his first interception of the game. However, neither team scored until the eighth minute of the first quarter.

With 4:53 left in the 1st, Lonardo scampered for an 18-yard TD to open the scoring after moving the team down field. However, the 2-point conversion failed.

The Eagles held the Spartans scoreless in the first quarter and added to their lead with 13 seconds remaining. Junior Blake Burdan scored from 8 yards out and then ran in the 2-point conversion. FC led Orcutt Academy, 14-0.

This week, quarterback Anthony Lonardo, ’19, threw one touchdown and 64 yards to four receivers, with no interceptions. However, Leonardo made an even bigger impact in his running game, finishing three yards shy of 200 and crossing into the end zone three times.

The Feather provided live tweets from the Orcutt game, often capturing TDs or important plays. Scroll through the feed to watch the videos or photo tweets.

Moments into the 2nd quarter, Lonardo increased the Eagle’s lead to 20-0, and the game seemed to follow a similar trend as the last playoff game. However, Orcutt responded with 20 unanswered points late in the 1st half, and a deep pass as time ran out had the potential to give the Spartans even more momentum. Orcutt’s Alex Sutton led the visitors with three TDs.

From the stands, Orcutt QB Max Daniel’s pass looked on target, but Eagle cornerback Tyler Stotts, ’20, saw an opportunity. Stotts picked off the ball on his own 20-yard line, and as the clock hit zero, ran it back 80 yards for a TD six points. This proved to be a game changer. Stotts explains the play from his point of view.

I saw my brother, he pushed the guy right off the line and he slipped,” Stotts said, “and I saw my opportunity right as he threw the ball. I grabbed the ball and started running, and it was all thanks to my blockers. It was all adrenaline. I just ran as fast could. I spiked the ball and didn’t realize I did it that but it happened.”

The Feather Online tweeted when Stotts made his game-changing interception.

The Spartans never tied the game again, and four more Eagle touchdowns and FC won, 53-34. Fresno Christian earned 105 more yards of offense than their previous playoff game, accumulating 403 yards. Aaron Lacroix, ’19, Blake Burdan, ’20, and Anthony Lonardo ran for a combined 320 yards, 22 more yards than the entire Orcutt offense.

No. 2 Fresno Christian (10-1) travels to No. 1 seed Mission Prep (11-0) for the CIF Central Section Les Schwab (8-Man) Championship, Nov. 16. Student tickets cost $5, and the game starts at 7 p.m. Come support the Eagles as they battle for their fourth-straight Valley championship title!

Kyle Clem interviewed Tyler Stotts on the field after the Eagles defeated the Spartans. They chatted about the win and the game-changing interception in the following podcast.

Eagles football kicked off the post season with a shutout win versus Desert Christian, 57-0, Nov. 2, while Orcutt  Academy (5-2 in league), entered the next round after a big win, beating Trona, 53-16.

Below is a recap video recap against No. 3 seed Orcutt Academy, Nov. 9, by Braden Bell, Blake Deffenbacher and Austin Petersen.

Football semi-finals against Orcutt 2018 from The Feather Online on Vimeo.

For more football articles, read Richie Cortez discusses playoffs with Anthony Lonardo and Eagles defeat Scorpions in quarter finals, 57-0. Also check out BREAKING: Boys basketball prepares for 2018-’19 season as the winter sports are already underway.

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

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