Birmingham outlives Patrick Henry to win regional bowl match

The teams at Saturday night’s CIF Southern California Division 3-A Regional Championship game were mirror images of each other. Both were nicknamed the Patriots, both led an eight-game winning streak and both were led by a revolutionary player capable of scoring every time he touched the ball.

The difference was in the trenches, where Lake Balboa Birmingham imposed their will and exhausted San Diego host Patrick Henry en route to a 42-35 victory that earned the City Section’s Open Division champions a spot. in Saturday’s State Bowl Championship game against Oakland McClymonds (11-1).

All season Birmingham relied on the size, speed and athleticism of forward Arlis Boardingham, and the senior proved too strong for Henry. Four games after climbing the ranks to carry a 35-yard pass, he took a direct snap in the wild formation, swept left and rocked two defenders for a six-yard touchdown to give Birmingham a 14- lead. 0 at the start of the second trimester.

Halfway into the third quarter, Boardingham made a transfer, bounced off two defenders and carried another into the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown that made it 35-28. He made four catches and also played stellar defense.

Birmingham (9-5) continued their impressive run since losing their first five games, all against opponents in the Southern Section. Birmingham had allowed a total of 14 points in their three City playoff games and looked to be on the verge of another blowout, but the 35 points allowed were the team’s most important since a 44-0 shutout by Westlake Village Oaks Christian September 24. .

One of the keys to Birmingham’s success has been containing the electrifying full-back Elijah Lux, who started the night with 1,903 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He was averaging 10.8 yards per carry but was limited to 44 yards in the first half. He finished with over 140 in 30 races.

Trailing 28-7 at halftime, the Division IV champions San Diego did not give up. Quarterback Malachai Gitman joined Omar Hammond for a 23-yard strike on Henry’s first possession in the third quarter.

Lux scored on a 14-yard run late in the third quarter, wide receiver Jeremiah Symington caught a 41-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes later, and Lux ​​crossed the goal line one yard to equalize. 35-35 with 9:31 left in the game.

Delamonte Barnes finished with 140 yards on 28 carries, including a three-yard rush that regained the advantage for Birmingham, 42-35, with 5:09 to go.

Henry (10-3) marched to Birmingham 37, but free keeper Tim Jackson intercepted a pass in the end zone with 2:19 left.

In the practice that followed, Barnes dug six yards on the fourth and two of Birmingham 28 with 1:27 to go to give the visitors a first try that kept them out of time.

Quarterback David Jordan-Oliveros ended Birmingham’s first practice of the game with a one-yard run and threw over 200 yards.

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