Antioch loses to Pitt in Big Little Game for second year, but blanks Irvington 38-0 in first round of playoffs

Antioch celebrates stopping Pittsburg in their first red zone trip during the Big Little Game on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Photo by Jesus Cano

Panthers play Dublin Saturday, Nov. 18; Deer Valley makes first round of playoffs, but falls to Amador Valley

Antioch’s Dalann Green scores the Panthers’ second touchdown during the Big Little Game. Photo from AUSD Facebook page.

By Jesus Cano

PITTSBURG, CALIF. – Donovan Crosse’s interception with three minutes remaining secured the Bay Valley Athletic League title for Pittsburg. The host Pirates narrowly escaped the 99th Big Little Game with a 14-12 win over Antioch.

The teams scored equal touchdowns. However, the difference was two missed extra-point attempts by the Panthers.

“After missing the first kick we had to go for two,” Antioch head coach John Lucido said. “I’m never satisfied with losing but these guys rose to the challenge.”

This victory ended a two-year title drought for Pittsburg – the longest under head coach Vic Galli’s 16-year tenure.

The JV and Varsity Cheer teams from Antioch and Pittsburg High School performed together at halftime. Photo by AUSD

Quarterback Justin Boyd is in his first year at the varsity level but is no stranger to big games, having played against juggernaut teams such as Serra and Centennial. The Pittsburg junior threw for 147-yard and two passing touchdowns.

“We should have won by more,” Boyd said. “I’m confident in my boys. They’re a good team, but we made a lot of mistakes.”

Boyd completed his first touchdown to his cousin A’Jae Boyd on a 74-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter. He then connected with Willie Harts III for a 66-yard go-head score in the third quarter.

Harts also believes his team should have won by more than two points. He said that if this game was played again, it would be contrasting.

“The result would be totally different,” Harts said. “We’ll be more prepared and take it more serious.”

Antioch was three points away from giving Liberty its first league championship in since 1985. Since the Lions defeated Freedom 37-35 yesterday, the Pirates needed to win in order to claim the BVAL title.

Antioch’s Noah Wallace blocks the Pittsburg ball carrier. Photo by AUSD

The Panthers scored on their first drive of the game after a series of Willem Karnthong keepers. The junior quarterback finished it off with a 41-yard soaring pass to Gaudie Campbell. As soon as Campbell’s feet touched the surface of the end zone, the entire home side of Pirate Stadium was on mute. Meanwhile, the visiting side erupted.

Antioch extended its lead later in the first quarter on a Dalaan Green six-yard rush after Karnthong set him up with a 28-yard pass to Campbell.

Despite Pittsburg winning the 99th Big Little Game and BVAL title, Galli was not satisfied with his team’s win. However, he acknowledged Antioch’s level of competitiveness.

“That team played their a** off tonight and they brought it to us,” Galli said. “Our offense owes our defense a lot.”

To watch a recap of the game, on MaxPreps, click here.

Antioch Blanks Irvington

In the first round of the North Coast Section (NCS)/Les Schwab Tires Division 1 championship on the evening of Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11 the 3rd seed Antioch Panthers beat the 14th seed Irvington High Vikings of Fremont 38-0. Antioch was up 35-0 at half-time. The win gives Antioch a 7-3 record for the season.

Wolverines Fall to Amador Valley

In their first round of the NCS playoffs, the 7th seed Amador Valley Dons were too much for the 10th seed Deer Valley Wolverines beating them 26-13.

Panthers Face Dublin Saturday Night

Antioch moves on to the second round of post-season play when they face the 11th seed Dublin Gaels Saturday night, Nov. 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Dublin.

Good luck, Panthers!

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Noah Wallace blocks the Pittsburg ball carrier


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AHS blocks Pitt


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