By Bonta Hill
Already faced with the pressure of performing well for homecoming on Saturday, Balboa High School’s football team needed a win to keep it’s Academic Athletic Association playoff hopes alive.
In a must-win situation, the Buccaneers rolled to a 53-19 win over visiting Galileo.
The Buccaneers (3-5, 2-3) had 505 yards of total offense and raced out to a 36-12 halftime lead.
“We’ve been emphasizing on getting better each week,” said Balboa head coach Alvaro Carvajal. “We had some injuries and things weren’t clicking [earlier this season]. Now we got those issues fixed and we’ll continue to keep working.”
It was a long day for Galileo (3-5, 1-4), which didn’t have the services of normal starting quarterback Kyle Nelson, who was out with a rib injury sustained in last week’s game against Mission.
Sophomore running back Ronzel Fox picked up some of the slack and rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, but the Lions’ passing game was stagnant throughout.
The Galileo defense was equally disappointing, with numerous missed tackles that resulted into long gains for Balboa.
“We missed so many tackles today,” said Galileo head coach Mark Huynh. “We knew Balboa comes out and runs the ball hard, [but in] one-on-one situations, with three guys, we just couldn’t get them down.”
The player Galileo had trouble tackling the most was Balboa junior running back Antoine Crecy, who rushed for 118 yards on 12 carries, which all came in the first half.
After Fox returned a kickoff 72 yards for a score to cut the Balboa lead to 28-12 with 30 seconds remaining in the half, Balboa capitalized on a short Galileo kickoff.
The Bucs simply gave the ball to Crecy, who broke through a wall of Galileo defenders for a 48-yard score with 15 seconds left.
“We told the kids at halftime that they need to just take this as a learning experience,” Huynh said. “We still have two games to go and how we’ll remember our season is how we finish these last two games.”
Galileo’s playoff hopes are all but mathematically dashed, but Balboa still has hope, sitting a game behind Lowell in fifth place, with Burton and defending champion Washington still on its schedule.
“We just have to finish and we can only control what we do,” Carvajal said. “We need to have a great week of practice and come out and get ready for Burton.”
B: 5:48 — Andres Arellano 1-yard run (kick failed)
B: 3:57 — David Lantow 1-yard run (Dexter Best pass from Arellano on conversion)
G: 3:04 — Ronzell Fox 68-yard run (conversion failed)
B: 7:02 — Luis Moran 18-yard run (Best pass from Arellano on conversion)
B: 0:47 — Antoine Crecy 1-yard run (conversion failed)
G: 0:30 — Fox 72-yard kickoff return (conversion failed)
B: 0:15 — Crecy 48-yard run (Best pass from Arellano on conversion)
B: 10:17 — Alon Evons 15-yard pass from Arellano (Luis Almeida kick good)
G: 10:39 — Fox 10-yard run (Conrad Mo kick good)
B: 8:03 — Moran 16-yard run (Almeida kick good)
B: 1:03 — Almeida 33-yard field goal