By Logan Malloy
If experience is the most brutal of teachers, Bloom showed it still had one lesson to learn against a seasoned Simeon squad Friday night at Gately Stadium.
The lesson needed was how to close out games.
Bloom, playing in its first postseason game since 1989, suffered a 13-10 heartbreaking loss to Simeon in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs.
Bloom (6-4) took a 10-6 lead into the fourth quarter, but couldnt hold on as Simeon rallied with one big-play to steal the game.
Facing a third-and-33 with a little more than 10 minutes to play, Simeon quarterback Elcee Burke hit Sharoid Roach on a swing pass out of the backfield. Roach showed his burst down the sideline and went 47 yards for the game-winning score.
Roachs score was set up after Simeons Elijah Muhammad blocked a punt in Bloom territory.
It was a wild game that featured five Simeon (8-1) turnovers. Blooms Josiah Dailey had two interceptions, and Kyle Pugh snatched one.
Our defense is the reason were 6-3, and nobody gives them any credit, Bloom coach Tony Palombi said.
Bloom played the entire game without injured starting quarterback Kendall McGinnis. They turned to sophomore Jordan Benavides (32 yards rushing, 2-of-8 passing for 19 yards) who had three days to prepare for the playoff game.
Girard Jenkins also completed on a pass on a nifty halfback-option to Timon Watkins for 26 yards, putting Bloom in the red zone just before the half. But Bloom gave up a sack on the next play and couldnt convert a field goal from 37 yards out.
We win and lose as a team and (Friday) we lost as a team, Palombi said. Every aspect of the game, we made one mistake at one point or another. It wasnt (the) defenses fault or offenses fault, it was a team effort. They just came out and beat us when it counted.
Blooms lone touchdown came in the second quarter when Nick Carlson pounced on a fumble in the end zone after Simeon mishandled the snap on an attempted punt. The touchdown gave Bloom a 10-6 lead.
Roach, Simeons leading rusher, didnt play at all in the first half because of injury, but Simeon was forced to use him with its playoff hopes on life support.