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

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

Teammates have been forming a dance circle, coaches have been appearing like younger children and a sea of red was once stuck up in a wave of party.

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

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

It infrequently got here simple — or with out controversy.

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

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

“It was once all taking place so rapid,” Jarrett mentioned. “You win video games and lose video games and I’m now not truly disillusioned concerning the name. If we performed like we may have, we may have gained like closing week however we didn’t and so we didn’t need to win.”

The win snapped a run of losses by way of the Eagles to the Cadets — in closing season’s WCAC identify recreation and closing week at Gonzaga.

With the positioning flipped Saturday, it was once the Eagles that had a superbly accomplished recreation plan on a blustery afternoon. Protecting 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 became on large performs early, with St. John’s protection Quinten Johnson, a Michigan devote, getting a strip and ranking to provide the Cadets a 6-Three lead at halftime.

Williams scored a three-yard landing off a left facet keeper with Five:12 left within the 0.33 for Gonzaga to regain the lead, 10-6. Then Gonzaga large receiver Dean Engram, a Wisconsin devote, took a St. John’s punt again for a landing to provide the Eagles a 17-6 lead with 2:32 left within the 0.33 quarter, atmosphere the level for the fourth-quarter drama.

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

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