first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 St. Paul compounded its problems with mistakes. “We did a lot of real ugly things,” Ancich said. “The one that hurt the most and probably turned the game around was on the field goal that they blocked and returned for a touchdown just before the half.” St. Paul had just scored on Nick Grigsby’s 38-yard touchdown run, then the Swordsmen regained possession following the recovery of a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return. However, Cameron McNeal blocked Michael Thomas’ field-goal attempt, with the ball coming back to Thomas, who caught it, took a couple of steps, then fumbled it. George Fletcher picked it up and raced about 50 yards for the touchdown that gave the Lancers a 30-8 halftime lead. “We had just scored to make it 23-8, and we had a little momentum going,” Ancich said. “It was just another missed opportunity for us.” A slow start in the game also hampered the Swordsmen. “We just never got untracked,” Ancich said. “Their first 23 points were pretty much the result of our mistakes. Fumbles, bad snaps, we kicked a ball out of the end zone to give them a safety. “We didn’t have any consistency on offense. We had more than 200 yards rushing, and about 125 passing, but we didn’t get a lot of that when we needed it. I think this was probably our lowest third-down conversion rate in a long, long time. We always seemed to be on the wrong (half) of the field. We played like freshmen in a varsity game.” Ancich did find some positives in the loss. One of them was the defense, which “played tough the whole night.” “It was impressive, because a lot of those guys were going both ways, and weren’t off the field very often,” Ancich said. Another bright spot was running back Nick Grigsby, a 5-10, 175-pound junior transfer from Dominguez High. Grigsby rushed for a game-high 162 yards on 18 carries, including a 38-yard scoring run just before the blocked field-goal attempt. “He had indicated an interest in coming here, but I wasn’t counting on it,” Ancich said. “I never gave it a thought, and we didn’t prepare for the season with him in mind.” Things don’t get any easier for the Swordsmen this week. St. Paul entertains St. Bonaventure, the defending CIF-Southern Section Division IV champion and ranked No. 4 in the state in at least one preseason poll. — Roger Murray can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3046, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! On paper, Bishop Amat’s football team looks very physical, what with three players listed at 300 pounds or more, and another trio weighing 280 or better. But the Lancer who perhaps plays biggest of all, is 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker Jonathan Cornell. center_img In Thursday’s season opener against St. Paul, the Lancers were pretty much everything their roster implied them to be. “A big physical team, that created a lot of headaches for us,” St. Paul coach Marijon Ancich said after the Swordsmen trailed, 30-8 at halftime en route to a 30-15 defeat. “Those 300 pounders made a big difference.” last_img read more