GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It certainly wasn't the start to the season the four-time defending Division 5 State Champions wanted. West Catholic just didn't have enough gas to keep up with fellow state champion Jackson Lumen Christi on Friday, August 25.
Both teams went scoreless in the first quarter before Gaetano Vallone hit Jack Schichtel for a long pass to put West Catholic up 7-0 in the 2nd. But that score opened the flood gates.
On the next possession, Sebastian Toland scored on a 93-yard run to tie the game. He would later score a second touchdown for the Titans, who led 14-10 at halftime.
Late in the third, West was down 21-10 when Vallone struck again, hitting Nick Dorato to cut the lead to four points. But early in the 4th Lumen Christi recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to go up 27-17.
Then the Vallone-Dorato duo gave the Falcons hope, connecting for another touchdown that made it a three point game. The defense did their job, stopping the Titans on 4th and 1 at the 11-yard line, with their backs against the wall.
The Falcons got all the way down to the Lumen Christi two-yard line and with the clock running, they made the decision to take a timeout with two seconds left. Then they went for it. And Vallone could not reach pay dirt.
The Titans stormed the field and celebrated a close 27-24 win.
West Catholic will have a home game again in week two when they host Muskegon Heights.
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