VENTURA – Oaks Christian quarterback Richie Harrington threw four touchdowns and rallied his team to a 33-32 overtime win over St. Bonaventure in the Marmonte League opener for both teams at Ventura High School on Friday night.
Harrington came in the game in the third quarter with his team down 19-0. He threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Blair Holliday to get his team on the scoreboard. Harrington scored on a 1-yard run to cut St. Bonaventure’s lead to five.
Harrington tied the score, 26-26, on a 29-yard screen pass to running back Ishmael Adams with 41 seconds left in the game.
Harrington’s 16-yard pass to Holliday in the first overtime period wound up being the game-winner.
Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell put in Harrington after starting quarterback Trevor Gretzky struggled in the first half. Gretzky threw three interceptions. His third came on the first drive of the third quarter.
But Redell isn’t quite ready to start the Richie Harrington era at Oaks Christian just yet.
“Gretzky’s still our starter,” Redell said. “It’s nice to know we have two quarterbacks we can depend on.”
Redell said he wanted to use Harrington in just one series in the second half. But Harrington engineered an eight-play, 42-yard touchdown drive. Oaks Christian scored its first touchdown of the game with 4:41 to play in the third quarter.
Harrington guided Oaks Christian on another touchdown drive three minutes later. He scored on a 1-yard keeper with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.
Just when it looked as if Oaks Christian was mounting a comeback, St. Bonaventure scored a touchdown with 3:36 to play in the fourth quarter and took a 26-14 lead.
Cody Kurz scored on a 3-yard run. It was his third touchdown of the game. He also caught two touchdown passes. St. Bonaventure quarterback Marc Evans threw two touchdown passes.
Down two touchdowns, Oaks Christian mounted an unlikely comeback. St. Bonaventure committed two penalties on the ensuing drive that kept Oaks Christian in the game. The first was a pass interference call in the end zone. The second penalty came on a fourth-and-goal play from the 11-yard line.
Harrington threw an incomplete pass that would have given St. Bonaventure the ball on downs. But St. Bonaventure was called for roughing the passer, giving Oaks Christian a first and goal from the 6-yard line. Harrington hit Brett Medders in the end zone to cut St. Bonaventure’s lead to six.
Oaks Christian’s kicker Diego Calix recovered his own onside kick and gave his team one more chance to tie the score. Adams scored the game-tying touchdown and sent the game into overtime.
Oaks Christian had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Calix’s extra-point attempt after the touchdown by Adams was blocked.
Adams, another one of the second-half heroes for Oaks Christian, rushed for 42 yards on seven carries. He had 31 yards rushing on six carries in the second half. He caught two passes for 74 yards and a touchdown.
“We need to do a better job of getting him in the game,” Redell said.