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N.D. gets its kicks

first_img “It wasn’t ‘no problem,’ but I practice from 62 or 65 all the time so I knew I could make it,” the senior said. “I try to stay calm, not get too nervous and just kick it the same way every time.” Forbath’s leg was plenty good. He probably would’ve been good from 60 yards out. But 57 was all Notre Dame needed to turn the game around and escape with a dramatic 27-22 victory over a determined Birmingham of Lake Balboa. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Forbath, who has committed to UCLA, the same school as his mentor and former Knights great Chris Sailer, made field goals of 42 and 57 on the night, both in the final 30 seconds of the first half – that turned a one-point Notre Dame deficit into a 13-9 halftime lead. The 57-yarder is his career-high, breaking his previous best of 52 yards, set last year against Valencia. Sailer, the Daily News Player of the Year in 1994, owns the school record with a 58-yarder in 1994. “Kai Forbath is the key to our team,” said senior running back Rodney Glass. “He gave us a big turnaround going into halftime. He’s got a magic foot.” In the second half, Glass and senior quarterback Garrett Green took that momentum and ran. Glass finished with 101 yards on 17 carries and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Green had an off night passing, but ran for 116 yards on 10 carries. For most kickers, even those who do it for a living, the distance Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks kicker Kai Forbath looked up at near the end of the first half would have induced a sigh and a slight chuckle. Fifty-seven yards? That’s more wishful thinking than sound strategy for the average kicker. But Forbath is no average kicker. center_img Notre Dame, ranked No. 1 by the Daily News, has now won 23 consecutive games. This was its closest game since an 18-15 victory over Palmdale in Week 3 of the 2004 season. Forbath delivered the winning field goal in that game. For Birmingham, the defending City Section championships, it was something of a moral victory. The Patriots graduated several key players from last year’s team and weren’t expected to give Notre Dame such a close game. Sophomore running back Milton Knox said his team took the pre-season slights to heart and used Friday’s game as an opportunity to show they should still be among the favorites to win a City title. “We wanted to send a message,” said Knox, who rushed for a game-high 130 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. “I thought we’d get more respect for being City champions, but I guess we have to earn it again. We did that tonight.” The Patriots also answered another key question. Junior quarterback James Beloff is a capable replacement to All-City quarterback Andrew Miramontes, who graduated after last year. Beloff finished 12 of 24 for 194 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He began the game 6 of 8 for 97 yards. Beloff’s touchdown came on a spectacular 46-yard pass to junior Kevin Armstead with 36 seconds remaining that gave Birmingham a chance to win. The Parrots tried an on-side kick, but it was recovered by Notre Dame’s Jasper Cajayon. “This doesn’t feel like a loss because of the class of their program,” Birmingham coach Ed Croson said. “For us to be able to stay on the same field as them is pretty amazing.” Ramona Shelburne, (818) 713-3617 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more