Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 | 11:30 p.m.
Three weeks ago Basic High held an early 21-0 lead over Foothill. The Wolves proceeded to allow three straight scores, and lost the game to their close rival 37-35.
Thursday night the Wolves again took a three-touchdown lead early in the second quarter, but they didn’t stop there.
Basic intercepted Foothill four times and poured it on in a 45-6 win to advance to the 4A Sunrise championship game.
“We knew last time we got big-headed and let them come back, but this time we kept our foot on the gas pedal,” said Basic quarterback Aaron McAllister. “We knew before the game they were hyped and they were talking to us, but we left that alone and we proved that we were the best team.”
McAllister had surgical precision on his passes throughout the game, and he dissected the Falcons' defense — completing 18-of-26 passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns.
“We knew that we had a mismatch on the outside last time, but we didn’t take advantage of it,” McAllister said. “This time we practiced and finally took advantage.”
Receiver Frank Harris caught eight passes for 67 yards and a touchdown, and Jordan Gallegos had three catches for 74 yards and a score.
The biggest difference from the first game was Basic’s outstanding play in the secondary.
Foothill quarterback Jordan Wilson threw for 300 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the first matchup.
Thursday night he completed only 10-of-23 passes for 62 yards, and threw four interceptions with no touchdowns.
“Last time we went against them our secondary got torched, so they took it upon themselves to put this game on their back and I think that’s what they did,” said coach Jeff Cahill.
The Falcons managed only 159 yards of total offense, and didn’t score until late in the third quarter when they were already trailing by 42 points.
“Our kids took it to heart the way we played last game and they weren’t going to let it happen again,” Cahill said. “We made a few adjustments. We put Quison Owens on (Joel Heintz) who had 12 catches last time and he shut him down.”
But it wasn’t just the secondary — Basic linebacker Toby Horneck made two spectacular interceptions, including a one-handed grab on a screen pass in the first quarter that he returned all the way to the Foothill 1-yard line.
“Once I saw the running back go out I picked him up,” Horneck said. “I saw the quarterback’s arm lift up, and I already knew I had him beat.”
Next Friday the Wolves will head to Liberty High for a rematch against the Patriots in the 4A Sunrise championship game.
Liberty has ended Basic’s season in the playoffs the last two years, and beat the Wolves 51-15 on Oct. 27 of this year.
“They are tough,” Cahill said. “They’re big, they’re physical and it’s going to be tough, but we are going to strap it on, go over there and see what happens.”