A missed opportunity by Rummel turned into a golden moment for John Curtis as the Catholic League rivals battled in the Division I quarterfinals Friday at Zephyr Field.
Clinging to a 20-19 lead, the Raiders had a chance to stretch the advantage to four points at the end of the third quarter but Connor Perret missed a 28-yard field goal.
Three plays later, Collin Guggenheim raced 43 yards for a touchdown. The freshman quarterback hooked up with Glenn Beal on a two-point conversion to give the Patriots a 27-20 lead.
A 79-yard touchdown run by Marquese Albert on Curtis’ next possession allowed the Patriots to secure a 34-20 victory.
The top-seeded Patriots advanced to the Division I semifinals and will host Evangel Christian next Friday. Evangel, the No. 5 seed, eliminated No. 4 St. Paul’s 28-21.
Rummel, the No. 8 seed, ended its season 7-4. It was the Raiders’ second loss of the year to Curtis. The Patriots defeated Rummel 31-17 in the regular season.
Curtis rolled up 449 yards of total offense in its playoff game against the Raiders. Guggenheim led the way with 184 yards passing and 97 rushing. Albert rushed for 110 yards for the Patriots.
Rummel was held to 210 yards, including only 54 rushing. Raiders quarterback Jacob Palma passed for 156 yards.
Down 13-12 to start the second half, Guggenheim hooked up with Tyrone Legette on a 14-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots a 19-13 lead. The score was set up by Andres Seymore’s interception of a Raiders pass on the opening possession of the third quarter.
Passes catches of 33 yards to both Jermie Walker and JaMarr Chase set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Keirell Jackson on the ensuing possession gave the Raiders a 20-19 lead they would hold going into the decisive fourth quarter.
A defensive score allowed Rummel to take the early lead Andre Danove returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead only three plays in the game.
Curtis answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by Guggenheim to give the Patriots a 7-6 edge. Guggenheim’s scoring run was set up by his own 54-yard scamper.
The Raiders regained the lead at 13-7 on a 7-yard run by Jackson to cap a 12-play, 80-yard dive.
Curtis made it 13-10 early in the second quarter on a 28-yard field goal by Joshua Hartley.
A bad snap on a punt attempt deep in Rummel territory went through the back of the end zone and led to safety as the Patriots inched to within 13-12 with less than three minutes left before halftime.
The Patriots seemed poised to take the lead going into halftime, driving to the Rummel 9-yard line following the free kick, but Hartley missed a 32-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the second quarter that would have given Curtis a two-point edge at the break.