Things didn't look good for St. Augustine after Rummel took the lead midway of the fourth quarter.
However, the Purple Knights went 80 yards to sophomore quarterback Josh White's 1-yard sneak to take a 20-17 victory over Rummel in a District 9-5A game Friday night at the Shrine on Airline.
The win put St. Augustine (6-3) at 4-2 in district. Rummel (5-4, 2-4), once 2-1 in 9-5A, lost its third consecutive game.
“This win means a lot, especially heading to the playoffs,” St. Augustine coach Al Jones said. “We needed this. We came into this game having lost two in a row ourselves.
“Getting that final drive, I think we've put it together, we understand what it's about. They showed that Purple Knight pride tonight.”
After White's sneak, it appeared he'd been stopped just short of the goal. However, the official finally signaled touchdown after the players were untangled. It was White's third touchdown of the game.
“The players said 'No,' (White) didn't get in,” Rummel coach Jay Roth said. “But the thing was, (the officials) never blew the ball dead. They let 10 seconds tick off the clock.”
It was quite a finish to a game in which the defenses controlled the game. Rummel took the lead on quarterback Chandler Fields' 48-yard pass play to wide receier Jamarr Chase. Chase caught the ball at the St. Aug 40, eluded a defender, and sprinted the rest of the way up the middle of the field, giving the Raiders a 17-13 lead with 5:52 remaining.
The Purple Knights had taken a 13-10 lead on White's second touchdown, a 2-yard run at 5:41 of the third quarter. That capped a 14-play, 79-yard drive.
“It was just determination and focus,” Jones said. “We just had to calm down.”
In the second half, St. Aug ground out 169 yards rushing, with Garland LaFrance gained 54 on 13 carries and Ismael Landers 45 on eight carries and White 36 on 12. The Knights had seven penalties for 61 yards in the first half but just two for 25 in the second.
St. Aug's defense held Rummel to 6 yards rushing for the game, including 7 yards in the second half. When center Anthony Harrison was hurt in the first quarter, it was the third Rummel offensive lineman out injured and the eight offensive starter total.
“We couldn't get anything going,” Roth said. “Their defense played well, and their offensive line was bigger and stronger than out line.”
Rummel led 10-6 at halftime on the strength of three the interceptions. St. Augustine led 6-0 after White ran five yards for a touchdown at 8:48 of the first quarter, capping a 35-yard drive after a Raiders punt.
Rummel got the ball at the Purple Knights' 40 after a punt with 3:09 in the first. Fields capped the eight-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chase, giving the Raiders the lead, 7-6, with 20 seconds left in the quarter. St. Augustine had three penalties on the drive, including two for pass interference. The second one gave the Raiders first down at the Knights' 7.
The Raiders increased the lead to 10-6 at 4:25 of the second quarter when Chris Freibert kicked a 29-yard field goal. It was set up by linebacker Aaron Brule's interception at the Rummel 24. The Raiders drove to the Knights' 12 with the aid of a another pass interference penalty late in the drive.