Mount St. Joseph coach Blake Henry said his team's comeback Saturday afternoon against visiting Bishop McNamara was the biggest he has experienced in eight years of high school coaching.
The problem? The Gaels came up just short after scoring all 23 of their points in about 10 minutes in the second half of a 31-23 loss in the season opener against Bishop McNamara.
"Our guys have heart, but they have to be more focused," said Henry, whose roster contains 17 sophomores and three freshmen. "They have to put together two good halves next time."
Junior tailback Adam Gillis Jr. led the Mustangs with 165 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 22 carries.
With the Gaels trailing, 28-0, Mount St. Joseph junior quarterback Bryan Jangro bounced back from three earlier interceptions to connect with receiver Brandon Batts for an 11-yard touchdown to cap a 10-play, 78-yard drive with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter.
Bishop McNamara's Travis Arnold converted a 35-yard field goal midway through the final quarter to make it 31-7.
The Gaels, however, wouldn't go away. Jangro finished off a 63-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak and Nevone McCrimmon ran in the two-point conversion to trim the lead to 31-15.
Kyle Costabile recovered James Nelson's onside kick, and Jangro threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Batts on the first play of the ensuing drive.
Unfortunately for the Gaels, the Mustangs ran out the clock on the final possession.
"They gave us a little bit of a scare," Bishop McNamara coach Bryce Bevill said.
The Mustangs scored the first of four touchdowns in the first half when Gillis rushed for a 7-yard score with 9:26 remaining in the first quarter.
Bishop McNamara increased the lead to 13-0 on a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Gillis in the second quarter. Jyquan Thompson's 24-yard run and Jordan Martin's interception return gave the Mustangs a 28-0 advantage at the half.
BM 7 21 0 3 31
M 0 0 7 16 23
BM-Gillis 7 run, Arnold kick
BM-Gillis 1 run, Arnold kick
BM-Thompson 24 run, Arnold kick
BM-Martin 26 interception return, Arnold kick
M Jangro pass 11 (Batts), Nelson kick
BM Arnold 35 kick
M Jangro run 1, McCrimmon run
M Jangro pass 49 (Batts), Jangro pass Offerman