Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 | 12:10 a.m.
Ray Brewer and Case Keefer analyze what may wind up as one of the best weeks of high school football this season despite diminished preparation time.
The ball was thrown to the corner of the endzone and appeared out of reach for Faith Lutheran wide receiver Dalton Kincaid.
But Kincaid is 6-foot-5, and he used every bit of his frame in hauling in Sagan Gronauer’s high pass on the last play of the third quarter Thursday night against host Legacy for the winning points in the Crusaders’ 20-13 victory.
Faith Lutheran played without five injured starters, then at the end of the first half, was dealt other injury blow when standout wide receiver Elijah Kothe dove awkwardly on his arm. But without the San Diego State commit Kothe in the lineup, others stepped up.
Peyton Thornton had six catches for 108 yards, and Kincaid had nearly 100 receiving yards — including that exceptional touchdown catch.
“A lot of receivers stepped up today once our main dude Elijah Kothe went down,” Faith Lutheran senior Josh Hong said. “We had some big-time players make some big-time plays.”
Hong had a nifty 75-yard touchdown reception in the first half, outracing the Legacy defense to grab the pass and maneuvering his way for the touchdown. Hong, who doubles at defensive back, also secured the victory in the final minute with an interception in front of the endzone. Earlier in the game, he passed for a 2-point conversion.
“He is amazing, man. I am so proud of that kid,” Faith Lutheran coach Vernon Fox said of Hong. “He really is the real deal. He keeps doing what we expect him to do.”
Legacy had a distinct size advantage on the line, but Faith Lutheran’s defense only surrendered two touchdowns. More important, they seemed to play harder once Kothe went down.
“One of the things we try to preach to them is excuses just aren’t allowed,” Fox said. “We say excuses are justification for losers. What that means is no matter what happens, what obstacles and things we have to face, a deficit or losses, we have to find a way to step up.”
Aubrey Washington and Isaiah Whitehead combined to rush for more than 200 yards for Legacy, which falls to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Northwest League. Faith Lutheran is also 2-1 in the Northwest.