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Football: Providence survives for 28-22 win over Brother Rice

Providence's Miles Boyk(81) catches pass for touchdown against Brother Rice. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

Providence's Miles Boykin (81) catches a pass for a touchdown against Brother Rice. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 28, 2013 6:30AM



It got pretty crazy at the finish, but Providence has state playoff life.

The host Celtics had to survive a late Brother Rice surge Friday night, taking a safety on the final play of the game to ensure a 28-22 Catholic League Blue victory.

Dominic Lagone was the perfect table-setter for Providence (5-4, 1-3), rushing for 135 yards — many of which set up four TD passes by quarterback Justin Hunniford to Miles Boykin of 22, 15, 4 and 6 yards.

Quarterback Alex Alarcon was 25-of-36 for 293 yards for Brother Rice (3-6, 0-4), including a 91-yard TD pass to Marcus Jones.

The Crusaders followed that play and a PAT kick by Brian Kane with 1:48 remaining that got them to within 28-20 with a fumble recovery on an onside kick by Luke Mueller at the Rice 49.

Two plays later, however, Matt Lahey made an interception at the Providence 19, giving the Celtics the chance to run out the clock.

Even that wasn’t easy, though.

With six seconds remaining, Lagone took the fourth-down snap from the center and ran back to and around the end zone as time expired.

“I played it (quarterback) a little bit before (in the game) so I was pretty comfortable,” Lagone said. “But I knew the game was on the line. We had to get something done.”

Lagone got a lot done rushing-wise early on, mostly out of the backfield but occasionally subbing in at quarterback for Hunniford. His yardage put the Celtics in position for Boykin to make all four of his pass receptions worth six points each.

“None of that was possible without Dom running hard and our line blocking hard,” Boykin said. “So all of the credit goes to them. I wouldn’t be wide open without them.”

Providence, which led 21-6 at the half, appeared poised to sock away an impressive victory after Boykin’s last TD and the PAT kick by Austin Regan left the Celtics in front 28-6 with 3:22 remaining in the third period.

Brother Rice, however, made some late third- and early fourth-quarter noise with a 73-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard run by Jones.

Jones’ biggest play would come later — way later — when after Providence failed to covert on a fourth-and-1 at the Crusaders 9, he caught about a 30-yard pass from Alarcon and ran it all the way in.

In the end, though, the Celtics were able to hang on and are in at-large position to avert their second playoff-less season in the past 23.

“I wouldn’t say we were worried, but you have to be ready for anything that comes your way,” Boykin said. “We knew Brother Rice would come out here and play us hard. But we had eyes on the playoffs.

“You go to Providence and you don’t make the playoffs, there’s something wrong with that. You have to make the playoffs year in and year out.”



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