The Serra Cavaliers cut their 22-point deficit to eight in the fourth quarter (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Serra Cavaliers rallied late but were unable to outlast the Servite Friars 20-28. The Cavaliers scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter in an attempt to come back from a 22-point deficit.

The Friars will battle the Mission Viejo Diablos in the CIF Southern Section Division II championships. Servite junior running back Quaid Carr noted how the team must be relentless during the title game to win.

“If we’re up, I think we just got to put our foot on them and don’t let them come back,” Carr said. “Defense getting stops, offense scoring.”

Carr put Servite on the board first with a 69-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game. The Serra defense sacked junior quarterback Leo Hannan on their next possession, but the Cavaliers fumbled their punt return on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Friars.

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The Cavalier defense allowed the Friars to score a field goal, edging their score to 10 points. When the Serra offense hit the field, junior quarterback Jimmy Butler connected with wide receiver Duvay Williams for a 38-yard passing play.

Carries from junior rusher Camron Harris-Willcot and a scramble from Butler would give the Cavaliers a first-and-goal. Butler made a four-yard touchdown two plays later.  The extra point was no good, pegging Serra at six points.

To start the second quarter, the Servite offense converted two third downs in one drive, ultimately scoring on a 14-yard pass. On their next offensive possession, the Friars scored a field goal and they went into halftime ahead 21-6.

Servite junior running back Quaid Carr scored two touchdown runs against Serra. (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The message during halftime for the Cavaliers was to play as a team, according to Serra junior CJ McBean.

“We had a lot of people injured that didn’t play, I think that was a factor in us and how we played but we had to come together,” McBean said. “Our team isn’t defined by two people, it’s defined by the whole team.”

After a scoreless third quarter, Carr scored on a rush from five yards out. The score was 28-6. Butler targeted senior Joshua Baldwin and sophomore Andre Nickerson to advance down the field. Harris-Willcot finished the drive with a score and a successful two-point conversion boosted Serra to 14 points.

The Cavalier defense refused to let Servite get a second first down. Butler returned to the field at Serra’s 45-yard line to make three consecutive throws to score, but a failed extra-point kick put the Cavaliers at 20 points.

“We had the momentum, [Servite] was making bad plays,” Williams said. “You got to keep your head in the game.”

On a third down Hannon’s sling was intercepted by Serra senior Noa Keohuloa. The Cavaliers offense started up on Servite’s 15-yard line. Butler scrambled to the endzone and fumbled. Servite recovered and their offense remained on the field for the rest of the game.

The Cavaliers finished their season with a 9-4 overall record and a 4-1 Mission League record.