Lindsay loses 27-21 to Exeter, 2-1 on season

With the ball in his left hand and an Exeter defender falling at his heels, Elian Ibarra raised one finger to the sky and crossed into the end zone for a 41-yard, game-changing touchdown.

Well at least it should've been a game-changer, but sadly, Lindsay High School football couldn't score again and lost 27-21 to Exeter in Friday's game at Frank Skadan Stadium.

Lindsay was in position to comeback and tie the game after Jonathan Garza recovered a pooch kick but they couldn't get past Exeter's 17-yard line. Then on their final drive of the game they came up less than a yard short of turning a fourth-and-10 into a touchdown.

“I'm proud of the way you guys fought,” said LHS head coach Matt Mendonca said in his post game talk with the team.

After giving up a 2-yard touchdown to Exeter's Hank Williams early in the third quarter, the Cardinals (2-1) were trailing the Monarchs (2-1) 19-7 with plenty of time to play.

Lindsay turned the ball over on the next drive with quarterback Randon Gomez being picked off by Exeter's Aaron Boesch. But the Cardinals defense got a big stop on fourth-and-7 and got the ball back on their own 38-yard line four plays later.

Daniel Trujillo and Lindsay's offensive line pounded the ball on the ground and on first-and-10 from the 32, Gomez hit Mario Diaz for a touchdown and Emiliano Corona's PAT cut the score to 19-14 a minute before the close of the third quarter. Corona went 3-for-3 on PATs.

But while the Cardinals defense had made stops earlier in the game, they couldn't do the same in the fourth quarter. On fourth-and-12 from Lindsay's 30, Exeter's Teneil Nickols had a 20-yard reception that set up the Monarch's eventual game-winning touchdown run from a yard out by Williams. And after failing to convert on previous 2-point conversions, quarterback Gavin Diaz was able to connect with Nickols for two.

“Fourth and a mile”, as Mendonca put it, was one of the Cardinals problem areas with Exeter also turning a fourth down-and-14 into a 35-yard reception, followed by a 3-yard run from Williams at the end of the first quarter. That time, it was Lindsay's Noah Hunter who blocked EHS' Bryan Cabrerra's PAT.

“They should have zero points,” Mendonca. “One (score) earned, we gave them the rest of it.”

One of the touchdowns the team “gave” the Monarchs was in the second quarter. After Trujillo scored a one-yard touchdown, the Cardinals' special teams gave up a 90-yard kickoff return to Exeter's Dewayne Coleman.

For their defense, there weren't many highlights outside of an interception by Diaz late in the second quarter.

“Use this loss as fuel,” Mendonca said. “It better burn, I don't want to feel this way ever again.”

Lindsay's next game is at home against Fowler (1-1) next Friday.

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