Football: Washington overcomes turnovers to edge Galileo in AAA semis

Washington senior running back works his way past Galileo defenders in the AAA semifinals on Thursday at Washington High School. (Photo by Denise Chiang)

By Bonta Hill

After Washington crushed Galileo last week, many coming to Eagle Stadium were expecting a similar result on Thursday, but instead saw an inspired Lions team nearly pull off the upset without star running back Quincy Nelson.

But Jeremy Jetton’s interception with 1:34 remaining in the game sealed Washington’s third Turkey Day appearance in four years as the second-seeded Eagles held off a gritty Galileo bunch 19-13 in the Academic Athletic Association semifinals.

Galileo senior quarterback Jonathan Lu winds up for a pass on Thursday at Washington High School. (Photo by Denise Chiang)

Washington will meet Balboa, a 28-8 winner against Mission, on Thanksgiving for the City championship.

“It’s almost a little surreal right now and it’s a wonderful thing to keep going,” said Washington head coach Karl Finley. “It’s a testament to the kids’ hard work, as well as the assistant coaches.”

Washington (9-2) overcame six turnovers, including four fumbles, to beat Galileo (6-6) for the second week in a row.

“[If] you take the turnovers away, we played a solid game,” Finley said. “Our kids were trying so hard to get the extra yard that we fumbled.”

The turnovers kept the Lions in the game throughout.

With 10:54 left in the second quarter and Washington up 6-0, Lions defensive back Wesley Choy stepped in front of Eagles quarterback Aram Gevandian’s pass and took it down to the Eagles’ 20-yard line.

Five plays later, Lions quarterback Jonathan Lu punched it in from 1 yard out to give the Lions a 7-6 lead.

The defending AAA champions kept things interesting and came out of halftime to put together a seven-play, 73-yard drive to tie the game at 13-13 with 8:57 left in the third quarter.

“We wanted our boys to be competitive, so I’m proud of the way they fought,” said Galileo head coach Mark Huynh. “Our mind-set coming into today was a lot different than last week.”

Washington though, sensing an urgency to put the Lions away, scored the go-ahead touchdown on the ensuing drive on Lajarie Mabrey’s third touchdown of the game with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

After Washington’s Chris Jackson fumbled at the Lions’ 9-yard line, Galileo had 3:57 remaining to mount a game-winning drive.

From the Eagles’ 36-yard line, Lu’s pass intended for wide receiver Waynelle Buckner was picked by Jetton, and Washington would run out the final 1:34, setting up another trip to the Thanksgiving Day game.

Jetton led the Eagles’ rushing attack with 107 yards on 16 carries, and Gevendian was 7-of-8 through the air for 101 yards with one interception.

After watching his team rebound from last week’s drubbing, Huynh was proud of his team’s effort.

“Washington is a heck of a team and for us to hold them to 19 points is a testament to our team’s fight,” Huynh said. “The season was a roller coaster with the injuries that we had, but we made the playoffs two years in a row. We’re excited about our program and what’s coming up in the next year.”

For Washington, they’ll be trying to help Finley capture his first championship, a feat that has eluded the Eagles since 2004.

“We’ve been knocking on that door since I’ve been here,” said a giddy Finley. “Hopefully we’ll knock that door down.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
W:7:21 — Lajarie Mabrey 2-yard run (Adam Badi kick missed)

Second Quarter
G: 9:07 — Jonathan Lu 1-yard run (Haroon Mohammed kick good)
W: 0:55 — Mabrey 3-yard run (Badi kick good)

Third Quarter
G: 8:57 — Lu 1-yard run (Mohammed kick blocked)
W: 3:17 — Mabrey 1-yard run (Badi kick missed)

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12 Comments

  1. Fly Dynasty says:

    Wash is gona take turkey day..they beat bal in the season and they have a few more weapons then Bal. All bal has is #7 and #3. As for wash, they have #7 Jeremy jetton, who has been player of the week more then once on sanfranpreps. Also #5 Galen hall, #83 Lavander, And #25. These guys can make things happen. As fo bal they do have a good run defence, but their pass D is horrible. Wash can Air it out all day, and break a few TD’s.

    Lets go eagles.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Galileo would have went to TDAY if last years running back of the year was playing.everyone knows who dat is ,no names necessary

  3. Anonymous says:

    and it would have ben him the one getting interviewed yesterday after the game.thats ok though cuz we gona hear about him in college

  4. . says:

    Football is a team sport and as we know Gal lost there key player but that means another player has to step there game up. You can’t just count on one person. But honestly “last year runningback of the year” is one heck of a player.

  5. Galileo #9 says:

    We all know that losing #5 was a big loss. But its in the past. The team we had now didnt win. Thats it.

    Just stating the facts here though. We lost Quincy Nelson and Max Malloy, 2 captains and the ONLY returning starters on offence. No doubt we would of won. But whatever.

  6. pimpin says:

    that mean # 9 should have stpped up but he didnt i guess like # 9 said to players do make the whole team

  7. pimpin says:

    AAA had good Qb’s this season best to worst i have to say
    #1 bal number 10
    #2 Marshall number 12
    #3 Wash
    #4 gal number 9
    #5 mission number 8
    #6 lincoln number 2
    #7lowell

  8. yo says:

    forreal #12 you from marshall huh?

  9. yea you no wash had to pull it out its goen be a hard game at t day but u no #3 an #7 caint win it a hole team can an thats wash

  10. - says:

    Marshall QB at #2? trippin

  11. - says:

    nice holding on that run play.

  12. Galileo #9 says:

    I think it would go

    1. Bal
    2. Wash
    3. Mission
    4. Gal
    5. Marshall
    6. Burton
    7. Lincoln
    8. Lowell

    Just cause Bal throws more. Kerati is like a brett farve, he will have spetacular games, and then the next game throw 3 ints. Wash’s QB is good, they just dont pass that much.

    And to pimpin, I had 80 yards and 2 TDs in the playoff game. We still didnt win.

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