Ty Gangi

St. Francis quarterback Ty Gangi is a dual threat for the Golden Knights, having thrown for 23 touchdowns and rushed for over 300 yards. (Tim Berger/File Photo)

Ty Gangi’s story is one of timing.

To hear St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds tell it, Gangi’s ability to let a pass fly before his receiver has yet to break open is way ahead of the curve.

“His timing is so far advanced in releasing the ball before his receivers are open. Ty has the confidence in the receivers and himself to know they’re going to get open before it happens,” Bonds says. “He’s really advanced in his decision-making and his release of the ball.”

But Gangi had to wait for his hour to come, patiently biding his time as a back-up in his junior season.

Now as a senior quarterback for St. Francis, the 2013 season has become Gangi’s time to shine.

“Everything was kinda lining up that [I thought], ‘Hey, he’s gonna be pretty good,’” Bonds says. “Having thought that, he’s a lot better than even I thought he was going to be.”

The Gangi-led Golden Knights (9-2) are now amidst one of the program’s most successful seasons, as they will host fourth-seeded Camarillo (10-1) on Friday night in the CIF Southern Section Western Division quarterfinals.

“I’ve always believed in us,” Gangi says. “We might not have all the best athletes, but we have the most heart, the most toughness and the most love for the game.”

Leading the way has been Gangi in more ways than one.

His numbers jump off the page. He’s thrown for 2,485 yards and 23 touchdowns to just five interceptions, completing 164 passes in 290 attempts for a 57% clip. His productivity hasn’t come just with his right arm, as his legs have churned out 307 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns in 94 carries.

But Gangi’s success and the Golden Knights’ subsequent rise is more than gaudy numbers.

“He’s the best leader you can ask for for a quarterback,” senior running back Joe Mudie says. “He’s so poised, he doesn’t get frustrated when somebody messes up or he messes up. He’s calm and he’s very smart; he knows what’s going on out there. ... All those things come together and you have a great leader and a great quarterback.”

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Gangi’s time at St. Francis began as a reserve quarterback just as his junior season did.

Senior Matt Gonzalez is now one of Gangi’s receivers, but during their freshman campaign in 2010, Gonzalez was the starting quarterback for the freshman squad. But an injury to Gonzalez gave Gangi his shot and his time to show what he had.

“They put Ty in in the third game and never looked back,” senior center Trevor Provencio says.

During Gangi’s freshman and junior varsity seasons, the Golden Knights went a combined 16-4. But when Gangi rose to the varsity ranks as a junior, Jared Lebowitz was already there as the incumbent starter.

Lebowitz, now at UNLV, would go on to be voted the 2012 All-Area Football Player of the Year, throwing for 2,598 yards and 23 touchdowns in 11 games.

“That was pretty tough for him,” says senior defensive back Kevin Maloof, one of the team’s captains along with Gangi, Mudie and Provencio. “I have the utmost respect for him for sticking it out. He knew he had the ability and he knew he could start and he wanted to show it.”