Clutch field goal lifts No. 16 O’Dowd

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - HIGH SCHOOL - By Chace Bryson Chace Bryson is a free­lance writer.

Af­ter two tries us­ing Stan­ford-bound run­ning back Austin Jones from in­side the 5-yard line, Bishop O’DowdOak­land foot­ball coach Napoleon Kauf­man had to put the game on the shoul­ders of his sopho­more kicker.

Gabriel Plas­cen­cia came through. Twice.

Af­ter his 20-yard field goal was waved off be­cause of de­fen­sive en­croach­ment, Plas­cen­cia split the up­rights from 18 yards away and gave the No. 16-ranked Dragons an im­pres­sive 17-16 come­back vic­tory over host No. 7 Monte Vista-Danville on Fri­day.

“Hon­estly, I had a lit­tle bit of nerves,” Plas­cen­cia said fol­low­ing the non­league win. “It was my first time hit­ting a game-win­ning field goal. I felt like all the pres­sure was on me. But I just worked through it and trusted God to lead me.”

Bishop O’Dowd (3-1) trailed 16-7 af­ter Monte Vista scored on a 55-yard pass from Jack Ste­ward­son to Gavin Cribb with 2:13 left in the third quar­ter. The Dragons still trailed by the same mar­gin when they got their first pos­ses­sion of the fourth quar­ter with 7:05 to play.

O’Dowd con­verted a 4thand-5 from its own 33-yard line to ex­tend the drive. Then, two plays later, Moe Flynn hit Je­lani War­ren across the mid­dle and the re­ceiver took it 56 yards for the score. The play cut the lead to 16-14 with 4:27 left in the game.

“We ran that play on one of the first plays of the game and I didn’t catch it,” War­ren said. “I asked coach if we could go back to it and I’d catch it. He said ‘OK’, and it worked.”

It was a big night for War­ren, who also caught a 27-yard touch­down for O’Dowd’s first points of the night on the first se­ries of the sec­ond half. He fin­ished with six catches for 131 yards and helped take some of the pres­sure off Jones, who faced eight-man de­fen­sive fronts all night from a stiff Monte Vista de­fense.

“I’m so happy that he balled out like that,” Jones said of War­ren. “We needed him. We needed him to step up. We know they were try­ing to stack the box on me. Once they did that, Je­lani showed up and he played. I loved it.”

Jones fin­ished the night with 104 yards on 24 car­ries and also caught three passes for 37 yards. Per­haps most im­por­tantly, he had the fum­ble re­cov­ery with 3:31 to play that gave the Dragons the chance to drive for the gamewin­ning score.

Monte Vista (3-1) held a 9-0 lead at the half on the strength of Matt Hoff­man’s three field goals. He hit on kicks of 21, 41 and 30 yards. Ste­ward­son threw for 215 yards and the one touch­down to Cribb. Tyler Perry rushed 18 times for 95 yards.

“Since I’ve been here with the pro­gram, we’ve al­ways tested our­selves against Divi­sion I op­po­nents,” Kauf­man said. “Re­gard­less of whether we win or not, we want to com­pete with these teams. We showed tonight that we can beat teams like this.”

Paul Kuroda / Spe­cial to The Chron­i­cle

Monte Vista’s Jack Ste­ward­son (2), be­ing tack­led by Tyler Garay-Harris (56) of Bishop O’Dowd, threw for 215 yards and a TD.

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