Football: Galileo’s defense strong enough to earn playoff-clinching win over Balboa

Galileo junior running back Ronzel Fox breaks away from a Balboa defender on Friday at Galileo Academy. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

By Jeremy Balan

With a playoff spot on the line, the Galileo Academy defense only played one good half against Balboa on Friday, and that was enough.

The Lions limited Balboa to just 66 yards of total offense, scored a defensive touchdown and recorded a safety in the first half to give Galileo enough cushion to absorb a second-half Balboa comeback and win 38-28.

In the final 2 minutes of the first half, Galileo senior linebacker Rafael Vergara returned an interception 44 yards for a touchdown, junior defensive end Kris Balarezo forced an intentional-grounding penalty in the Balboa end zone for a safety and junior running back Ronzel Fox took the first play from scrimmage following the safety 52 yards for a score. The surge pushed the Galileo lead from 15-6 to 31-6 at the halftime break.

“In those last 2 minutes of the second quarter, the ball didn’t bounce our way and we didn’t execute,” said Balboa head coach Alvaro Carvajal.

The win gives Galileo (4-5-1, 3-3) a spot in the playoffs and knocks the Bucs (2-7, 2-4) out of the postseason for the second consecutive year.

The game was scoreless until the final seconds of the first quarter, then turned into a slugfest between two of the best running backs in the City.

Fox ran for a career-high 195 yards on 15 carries, including touchdown runs of 52 and 65 yards, and Balboa senior running back Antoine Crecy ran for a career-high 175 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.

Balboa senior running back Antoine Crecy breaks away from a Galileo defender on Friday at Galileo Academy. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

Almost all of Crecy’s yards and most of his touches came in the second half, as the standout senior was held to just 28 yards on 11 carries before the break.

“We tried to get him the ball, but they really wanted to shut down our outside run, which is one of our strengths,” Carvajal said. “When we started pounding it up front, down the middle, that’s when things started happening.”

Crecy was the driving force for Balboa’s second-half surge, but the Bucs got an injection of momentum on the opening kickoff after the break.

Galileo, which has attempted onside kicks on the majority of kickoffs this season, tried another to open the second half. The ball bounced directly to Balboa junior lineman Marlon Canaya, who broke one tackle and outran the rest of the Galileo special-teams unit down the left sideline for a touchdown.

The special-teams score was the beginning of a 21-7 third quarter in Balboa’s favor, but the Galileo defense stiffened again in the fourth.

After Crecy’s third rushing touchdown cut the Galileo lead to 38-28 with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter, the Lions forced the Bucs to punt on their next drive, then ended any hope of a comeback on Balboa’s final drive in the fourth.

The Bucs faced a fourth-and-11 situation from the Galileo 39-yard line with just over 2 minutes left and quarterback Eli Smoot found receiver Jaedon Brassil open, but Fox made a textbook open-field tackle well short of the first down to seal victory.

“It was good defense for one half,” said Galileo head coach Mark Huynh. “It was a little disappointing that we had the game in hand and didn’t step up in the third quarter, but in the fourth we did.”

Also a leader on defense at linebacker, Fox delivered several punishing hits on Balboa ball-carriers, but no tackle was more important than his last.

“It was all about defense and we need to step that up if we want to go to the big game,” Fox said. “We’re going up against Mission [in the playoffs], which is a much better team and we gotta play better.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
G: 0:00 – Kyle Nelson 13-yard run (Yanek Hakobyan kick)

Second Quarter
G: 6:53 – Isaac Armstrong 28-yard pass from Nelson (Armstrong pass from Nelson on conversion)
B: 3:22 – Antoine Crecy 7-yard run (kick blocked)
G: 1:52 – Rafael Vergara 44-yard interception return (Hakobyan kick)
G: 1:02 – Safety
G: 0:47 – Ronzel Fox 52-yard run (Hakobyan kick)

Third Quarter
B: 11:58 – Marlon Canaya 45-yard kickoff return (conversion failed)
G: 11:31 – Fox 65-yard run (Hakobyan kick)
B: 8:47 – Crecy 1-yard run (Crecy run on conversion)
B: 4:18 – Crecy 31-yard run (Jeremiah Iuli run on conversion)

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  1. GCJ 01 says:

    Tough loss for Bal. I would rather see both Bal and Gal in the playoffs and not Lowell, but that’s not the way the cards were dealt. Gal now has the unfortunate task of playing Mission.

  2. Alumni Ric says:

    Balboa’s display of football over the past two years is unacceptable! No excuses! This losing culture has got change. This is a school that had a history of winning and now its become acceptable to lose. There needs to be some serious changes made! I’m not just talking football either!

    I’m knocking all coaches in all sports as well. Simply disgraceful that our athletes can’t compete at a high enough level in San Francisco to make the playoffs and thats coaching (or lack of it).

    The Orange & Blue use to sock it you, but now, we’re just getting socked and its hard to stomach.

    No passion or pride!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Proud Buc Parent says:

      Alumni Ric,

      I am completely flabbergasted on your comment above about our team. As a parent of one of the players, I am offended, disrespected, and humiliated that you are part of the Buc family. What example are you setting for our kids who read these articles? You are showing no class, being very unsupportive, and showing a immaturity level that I don’t even see in my son when they fall short in a game. These kids have worked HARD this season, and for you to say that their is “no passion or pride” is repulsive. The coaching staff put in a lot of hard work and dedication into these kids in ALL the programs, and for you to just belittle them the way you just did is DISGUSTING!!!!

      As far as the history of Balboa winning, well after some research, I found out that the last time Balboa won a championship was in 1984! You have NO RESPECT for our kids, coaches, school, and parents!! Maybe you should stay home next time instead of going to the games just to find something to criticize.

      And for the record, in the past few years, Balboa has had the highest amount of students who move on to college and play football. The integrity and dignity that the coaching staff teaches our kids is something that is real and life lasting.

    • GCJ 01 says:

      This is exactly why I don’t like people who just post things without doing their history. If you’re in fact a Bal alum, I would think you would have better sense to follow your school’s athletic programs better than what you’re doing now. Since you haven’t, let me help you:

      -Bal beat Lowell (the favorites) in 2011 and 2012 to reach the championship game (in which they lost to Wash)

      Girl’s Volleyball:
      -Went to the championship game in 2010 and lost to Lincoln
      -In 2011beat a heavily favorite Lowell team to capture their first title

      The information is just within the past two years. It’s a shame that you have little faith in your school. But, by the looks of things, you don’t even know what’s going on to criticize anything regarding the school. I’m not even a Bal alum and I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished. The last two years, they were not favorites to win any playoff games, let alone win a championship, but yet, they overcame the odds.

      Before you shoot off your mouth, why don’t you actually go to some of the games and see what’s going on. They have great coaches, but you wouldn’t know that now would you?

      JB, I love when you approve of posts by people who are clueless, but this one was just awful!!!!!

  3. Alumni Ric says:

    Dear Parent & GCJ,

    I am well aware of the recent feats of Bal athletics. I’ve been around Bal sports since 1965 and probably know more about Buc sports then anyone in that time period. I’m a former player, captain, and All-American who received a athletic scholarship when I left Bal. I more then anyone will support Bal to the day I die. Therefore, I’m gonna criticize when I feel its needed.

    I have personally raised thousands of dollars for the athletic dept. and continue to put my money into the 100 Buc club (which I founded) quarterly!

    I would hardly call 1 Championship in over 12 years satisfactory. Oh, there have been a few Championship game appearances but I bet if you ask those players were they satisfied just getting there, they’d say no.

    My point is when I was at Bal, the coaches taught winning along with good sportsmanship. It was instilled in us! We executed and we were prepared. Thats what I meant by pride, from the coaching staffs. I would never come down on a player or players because, I’ve been there.

    When I said history, I meant the period between 1966-1984. Yes Proud Parent, its been way too long since we had a football championship. Thats my point!

    The last two years of Bal football in my opinion were the worse I’ve ever seen. I’m sure the coaches are all trying but its not good enough. If I worked like that, I’d want a kick in the rear! Thats what I’m dishing out!

    Baseball just got good the last 2 years and there’s improvement needed in fundamentals when you compare them to Washington. They’ll need to learn them if they’re gonna overcome Washington.

    Basketball has been a non-factor along with soccer? We can go down the list! Create an atmosphere of winning and getting kids interested in competing.

    Hell, in 3 years at Bal, I played on 6 teams, (Football & Baseball) and went to 5 Championship game and won 3. The 2 I loss were by 1 point each. I’m proud of those accomplishments but those losses irk me more then anything to this day.

    I’m just saying the pride & passion start at the top and works its way down to the players (Culture). Coaches have to have a plan to succeed and a system to get better every year! I don’t see that at all except with Mr. C’s volleyball team. (Great job by him)

    I’m sorry if I offended anyone especially a parent but I had to say it because its sickening to watch and I know it can be better with the kids we have.

    Winning is important and gives you confidence!.

    If any players are reading this, I’m not talking about you guys or your efforts!

    GCJ, I travel from the East Bay just to go to the games on Saturdays and did so Friday!

    I wrote this well aware that it would tick someone off but sometimes you have to take off the diapers and tell it like it is and face reality.

    I’m sure you parents either know me or have seen me and I’d be happy to discuss this personally with you anytime.

  4. Alumni Ric says:

    Oh yeah, GCJ, I didn’t use profanity or anything abusive so JB was correct in letting my post stay because I have a RIGHT to voice my opinion whether you or anyone else doesn’t like it.

    Thats whats wrong with this soft society now. Everyones walking around on pins and needles afraid to say whats on their minds or if they’re offending someone.

    Yeah, I had the guts to say what I felt because I’m passionate about my high school and I knew I’d tick some folks off especially the coaches who I know personally. But you know what? I’d tell them to their face what I feel because I am passionate and I do put my money where my mouth is.

    You want to donate to my 100 Buc Club? Bet you don’t so get your facts straight before you come at me.

    Again, its just my opinion and I’ll stand by it no matter what anyone feels! Thats why I put my name up here instead of hiding.

    • GCJ 01 says:

      If you’re so immersed in Bal’s athletics then you wouldn’t have made those idiotic comments. You’re just one of those people who just write stuff just to get attention and that’s sad…but hey, do what you need to do to feel better about yourself. By the way, you speak of “hiding,” I doubt you were born with the name of “Alumni Ric” so if you weren’t truly hiding, you’d put your full name genius!

      You shoot your mouth off and nothing comes out but hot air. The kids do not need to be discouraged, they need to be uplifted. So if you’re not going to uplift them, keep your negativity to yourself. Better yet, get out there and coach them and see if you can do a better job!

      Have a good day my friend!

  5. Alumni Ric says:

    Hey GCJ,

    First of all, My name is Ric Bussey. I don’t hide behind some initials like you do. If your comprhension was better, you would of understood I was talking about the coaching and the culture they have let settle into the Balboa campus. You would of seen that I said, “if any players are reading this, I’m not talking about you guys or your efforts”. You can comprehend can’t you?

    You talk about banning my comments on one hand, then refer to my comments as idioctic. I guess you’re one of those people who accepts losing and I’m sure your life pattern resembles it. Oh, but I won’t call you a loser!

    You should realize athletics and the way you approach it transfers to the way you’ll carry out your life. You have a PLAN to succeed! When you feel and play to win, you approach your life in a winning fashion. It builds confidence!

    With the talent that was on this years team, there is no way they should of not made the playoffs especially at the level the AAA is in now. That is a gross underachievement! The kids didn’t maxmize their potential! Thats coaching! Try having that kind of season at DeLaSalle and see what happens!

    Its funny to me when people speak their minds and its off center from how everyone else thinks, people like you wanna say they’re seeking attention or label them. Yes, I beat to my OWN drum, I think outside the box, and yes I ruffle feathers, but you know what, it gets results. It gets people to think, and in alot of cases, makes things better. After all, thats what makes greatness! Bill Walsh was that way, coaches didn’t use the passing game, but wow, it worked, he was a genius.

    I vision Balboa as having the type of dynasty Lowell’s volleyball program has. In all sports! Thats my dream! Thats why I commit to raising funds. I put my money were my mouth is! What do you do besides criticize?

    So the next time you wanna condemn someone for being outspoken and telling the truth, understand what you’re reading first. It wasn’t about the kids! Do you understand that? It was about the coaching!!!!!!!!

    So if you wanna call me an idiot, at least now you know my name!

    • Ari Gold says:

      Hey Ric, you should see how sad GCJ is on Saturday night at 2am. He waits for Balan to post prep stories at 2am just so he can say “good job, good effort” (like that Miami Heat kid at the end of game 5 of the ECF). Then he tries to suck up to Balan as if Balan needs such bootlicking.

      • Alumni Ric says:

        Too funny! I figured! At least you understand where I’m coming from. Just hate that my original post was misconstrued. Oh well, I stand by my comment. Thanks Ari!

        • Ari Gold says:

          He doesnt have the capacity to differentiate constructive criticism from portraying a hater. Its all the same to him. Hes the guy that wants to give trophies to everyone and probably loves watching the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl.

  6. manifest Destiny says:

    I will contribute to that 100 Buc Club! Keep up the loyalty. I am sure that Balboa will come back around.

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