First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
St. Francis High School running back Max Garrison showed great promise as a junior, rushing for 782 yards in six contests during the abbreviated COVID-19 season. One game into his senior campaign and Garrison is already halfway to that same mark, exploding for 362 yards on the ground and six touchdowns in the Golden Knights’ season-opening 44-35 victory over Manhattan Beach Mira Costa in a nonleague game on Friday.
The remarkable performance gave first-year head coach Dean Harrington — a close friend of legendary and beloved SFHS football coach Jim Bonds who died from cancer last October — his first win as head coach of St. Francis. His squad overcame a 28-24 deficit by scoring 20 points in the final quarter.
Junior quarterback Jack Jacobs completed seven of 18 passes for 68 yards and also rushed for 60 yards on 14 carries. Garrison caught two passes for 18 points, Alejandro Ramirez hauled in a 20-yard pass and Dylan Bell contributed an 11-yard reception.
St. Francis senior Myles Shannon led the defense with eight tackles, two of which were for a loss, and an interception. Teammates Preston Jernegan and Michael Gordo each recorded six tackles. Caleb Buchanan had five tackles and Maze Bryant, Duncan Sprengel and Phillip Ocon each contributed three tackles.
Shannon and Ocon each caused a fumble, and Diego Jimenez and George Cupp each recovered a loose ball.