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No. 6 Gonzaga holds off No. 1 St. John’s to advance to WCAC title game

XUARXNXFIAI6RORQU7PNATMPVQ - No. 6 Gonzaga holds off No. 1 St. John’s to advance to WCAC title game
Gonzaga quarterback Caleb Williams rankings the Eagles’ first landing all the way through Saturday’s 24-14 win over St. John’s within the WCAC semifinals. Gonzaga will play DeMatha subsequent Sunday for the league identify. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Publish)

Gonzaga sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams made his method to the sidelines in entrance of a rambunctious Eagles scholar segment and crouched low to the bottom. Tears trickled down his cheeks Saturday afternoon at St. John’s in Northwest Washington as he stared on the scene in entrance of him.

Teammates have been forming a dance circle, coaches have been performing like younger children, and a sea of red used to be stuck up in a wave of birthday party.

The No. 6 Eagles had taken down top-ranked St. John’s, 24-14, within the Washington Catholic Athletic Convention semifinals, incomes a place towards DeMatha within the league’s championship sport subsequent Sunday at Catholic.

“We’re simply going again to the place I all the time wish to be,” Williams mentioned. “Again to the championship sport.”

It didn’t come simply — or with out controversy.

The Eagles (Eight-Three) constructed a 17-6 lead past due within the 0.33 quarter earlier than the Cadets (Nine-1) rallied. Large receiver Rakim Jarrett scored a 23-yard landing, and St. John’s transformed the two-point conversion to trim its deficit to only 3 with four:06 closing.

The Eagles have been not able to expire the clock, and the Cadets created some past due drama — and controversy — after they drove throughout the Gonzaga Five-yard line poised for the profitable ranking. The Eagles compelled a fumble by means of a St. John’s operating again that used to be returned by means of Aaron Davis for a landing. Cadets coaches argued the runner used to be down — to no avail.

“It used to be all taking place so speedy,” Jarrett mentioned. “You win video games and lose video games, and I’m now not in point of fact disappointed in regards to the name. If we performed like we may have, we may have received like remaining week. However we didn’t, and so we didn’t need to win.”

The win snapped a run of losses by means of the Eagles to the Cadets — in remaining season’s WCAC identify sport and remaining week at Gonzaga within the groups’ common season finale.

With the positioning flipped Saturday, it used to be the Eagles that had a wonderfully performed sport plan on a blustery afternoon. Retaining ownership of the ball for almost all of the sport, Gonzaga relied at the legs of Williams to devour up yards and stay the St. John’s offense off the sphere.

The sport grew to become on giant performs early, with St. John’s protection Quinten Johnson, a Michigan dedicate, getting a strip and ranking to present the Cadets a 6-Three lead at halftime.

Williams scored a three-yard landing off a keeper at the left aspect with Five:12 left within the 0.33 quarter to assist Gonzaga regain the lead at 10-6. Then Gonzaga large receiver Dean Engram, a Wisconsin dedicate, took a St. John’s punt again for a landing to present the Eagles a 17-6 lead with 2:32 left within the 0.33 quarter, environment the degree for the fourth-quarter drama.

“It simply presentations the battle that we’ve got in us,” Williams mentioned. “It’s the battle we have now in ourselves and each and every different.”

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