By Graham Henderson
With 1:10 left in the first half, trailing St. Ignatius by only a touchdown, Bishop O’Dowd was set to punt from their own 24-yard line when it all went wrong.
The snap sailed over the head of punter Kiernan Mueller and he recovered the ball, but the Wildcats took over on downs at the Dragon’s 15-yard line.
St. Ignatius senior running back Jacob Brisbane then took the ball to the 1-yard line, allowing quarterback Jeff Farlow score on a quarterback sneak the next play.
It was a blow that O’Dowd (1-1-0) never fully recovered from, losing to visiting St. Ignatius (1-1-1) 28-14 in front of a sold-out homecoming crowd of 1,400.
“We had some great runs and we had some really great effort on our side,” said St. Ignatius head coach Steve Bluford.
The Dragons struggles continued in the second half. Starting with the ball, O’Dowd went three-and-out and was forced to punt after running back Trenton Trammell was stopped for a loss twice in the backfield.
St. Ignatius responded on its first offensive play of the second half, as Farlow connected with senior running back Zac Schuller, who ran 62 yards to put St. Ignatius up 21-0. Farlow threw for 102 yards on 6-of-10 passing.
But O’Dowd did not go down without a fight. The Dragons rallied for two touchdowns in the third quarter to cut the lead to 21-14, behind the play of quarterback Dominic Miroglio, who threw for a game-high 213 yards on 17-of-31 passing.
After failing to stop O’Dowd on two consecutive drives, the St. Ignatius defense was able to find its groove again in the fourth quarter.
With O’Dowd in scoring position, but facing fourth down and eight on the St. Ignatius 12-yard line, a blitzing E.J. Silva easily sacked Miroglio, stopping not only the drive, but also the Dragon’s rally.
Brisbane, with the help of his blockers, then put the final nail in the O’Dowd coffin on the very next play, running 76 yards for a touchdown, putting the Wildcats up 28-14 with 10:09 remaining in the game.
“I got to the outside [and] I just kept running hard,” Bisbane said. “The guys blocked great down field. Those guys were hustling with me.”
Brisbane finished the game with 130 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
“He played well [and] he finished plays,” Bluford said of Brisbane who also plays defense. “He did a really good job of keeping the offensive and defensive sides of the ball focused, as well as the other guys in the huddle. We’re excited about his performance tonight.”
SI: 4:47 — Jacob Brisbane 1-yard run (Will McKee kick)
SI: 0:34 — Jeff Farlow 1-yard run (McKee kick)
SI: 9:56 — Zac Schuller 62-yard pass from Jeff Farlow (McKee kick)
BO: 5:59 — Tyrone Ward 7-yard run. (Nicholas Carrera kick)
BO: 4:05 — Ward 20-yard run. (Carrera kick)
SI: 10:09 — Brisbane 76-yard run. (McKee kick)