Katella comes through with late TD, knocks off Westminster

ANAHEIM – Katella football coach Fred DiPalma said it was a blessing in disguise that the Knights were surprisingly shut out in their season opener.

“Kennedy did us a favor,” the veteran coach said.

Katella ditched the pistol offense and switched back to its regular spread attack after the loss and showed more progress Thursday in a 22-20 victory against Westminster at Glover Stadium.

Quarterback Nathan Arrington passed for 237 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 72 yards, including a 5-yard score on third-and-goal that gave Katella (3-1) a 22-14 lead with 5:39 left in the fourth quarter. The extra-point failed.

A 13-yard run on a third-down reverse by Isaac Anderson from Andrew Pisani took the ball to the 5 and set up the score.

Westminster quarterback Noah Melbon responded with a 27-yard TD pass to Chris Samilton with 1:05 left but Katella’s defensive front helped stop Jacob McGookin on the 2-point conversion run to seal the victory.

McGookin earlier scored on two short runs for the Lions (2-1), who beat Garden Grove and Marina.

The Knights converted three fourth-down attempts on a game-opening 13-play, 70-yard scoring drive. On fourth-and-14, Ed Williams made a leaping catch for a 29-yard touchdown on a pass from from Arrington for a 6-0 lead.

Katella converted a fourth straight fourth-down attempt on their next possession and scored on a 31-yard TD pass on third-down from Arrington to Williams.

Arrington completed 11 of 20 passes in the first half for 208 yards. Williams, a junior, had five receptions for 113 yards in the half.

Westminster trimmed Katella’s lead to 13-6 on a 3-yard touchdown run by McGookin with 52 seconds left in the half.

But Arrington made good use of the remaining time, driving Katella for a 41-yard field by Daniel Sifuentes with four seconds left. Westminster attempted to ice the sophomore by calling a timeout before the successful boot, which loomed large in the fourth period.

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