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Bishop’s heading to Div. V football championship game

Knights seek to defend their title

A year ago, the football team from The Bishop’s School was unstoppable.

Things have been drastically different for the Knights this season, but they have overcome long odds to make a return appearance in the championship game.

Last year, the Knights sailed through the regular season undefeated, and as the No. 2 seed in the CIF San Diego Section Division V playoffs, steamrolled their first two opponents in the playoffs and toppled Christian, 17-7, at Qualcomm Stadium to win the section title.

Unseeded this season, Bishop’s (7-6) is set to face top-seeded Francis Parker (11-1) in the Division V title game Saturday at 7 p.m. at Southwestern College.

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‘Amazing season’

“Winning this game would be pretty special,” Bishop’s coach Mike David said. “This season has been amazing, and I’m really proud of these players. These guys stuck together the whole season.”

Bishop’s entered the playoffs with a 4-6 record and an 0-4 mark in Coastal League play, but quickly turned things around in the postseason. The Knights beat Julian, 49-0, in the first-round game on Nov. 21, and then edged No. 3 seed Horizon Christian, 50-49, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 28. They took down second-seeded Christian, 30-23, in an overtime thriller on Dec. 5.

“We hope to keep it going,” David said. “We’ve had a couple game here that have been pretty exciting in which we’ve come back to win. Right now, our team believes.”

Dealing with injuries

The Knights’ early struggles this season can be attributed largely to injuries. Running back Jacob Kelly played in just one full game during the regular season due to a hamstring injury that wouldn’t seem to go away. Kyle Jester, another of the team’s top rushers, missed three league games with a concussion. Lineman Jesse Ramey was out most of the season with a back injury.
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Thanks to the solid play of freshman quarterback Joey Moreno, running backs Mike Jensen and Micah Seau and their strong defense, the Knights were able to weather the storm and hold on until some of their injured stars returned.

Bishop’s fell to Francis Parker, 31-23, back in October, and David said he has been watching film of that game as well as his opponents’ recent games to see what the Knights can do differently this time.

“We played really well against them,” David said. “We’re a much better team now than we were then.

“I think we’re playing our best football right now.”