Football: Sacred Heart’s defense stands tall in Kezar scrimmage

Senior running back Valentino Miles (right) shrugs off a Deer Valley defender in a four-team scrimmage on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Bonta Hill

Sacred Heart Cathedral head coach John Lee was upbeat after the Irish got their first opportunity to hit different colored jerseys on Friday.

Defensively, the Irish didn’t allow Tamalpais, Deer Valley, or Sacramento to reach the end zone in a scrimmage at Kezar Stadium.

Offensively, Zach Tapel and Valentino Miles made some plays for the Irish, but overall, Lee would have liked to see more consistency out of his unit.

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior quarterback Jack Harrington releases a pass in a four-team scrimmage on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Eric Luis)

“The defense was outstanding today and they didn’t give up a point. They bent a couple of times, but they didn’t break.” Lee said. “On offense, we have some things that we need to work on. We moved the ball and scored, which was outstanding. We showed some glimpses, but when we needed some plays in [key moments], there was small breakdowns.”

Some of the glimpses he saw offensively came from two players expected to produce for the Irish – Tapel and Miles.

On their fifth offensive play in the scrimmage against Deer Valley, Irish quarterback Jack Harrington found Tapel streaking into the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown pass.

Tapel would also haul in a 35-yard pass from Harrington in their session against Tamalpais.

“We started off slow this summer, but things are starting to get going for us,” Tapel said. “We have a young offensive line and we’re just trying to get things together by next week.”

In the session against Sacramento, Miles took a handoff from Harrington, ran to the right and broke through the Sacrament defense for a 22-yard touchdown, punctuating the run by running over a helpless Sacramento defender at the goal line.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to jump, but [the defender] came up high, and I just had to lower the shoulder,” Miles said.

Miles had runs of 21 and 22 yards, but throughout the day he didn’t have much room to run. The passing game also had trouble moving the ball consistently, but Harrington’s two touchdown passes on the day was enough to convince Lee that he’s the best man for the starting quarterback job going into their first game.

“Harrington did a job nice job,” Lee said. “There were a couple of times he was off, and his throwing motion was [off], but that’s something mechanical and something we can fix. He’ll be our starter going forward.”

The Irish defense held firm against Deer Valley’s double-wing offense, intercepting two passes and not allowing a completed pass in their session.

After allowing Sacramento inside the five-yard line, the Irish defense countered with three sacks in the next four plays.

“We take pride in our defense and with eight returning starters, we just tried to fight through adversity and move through it,” Tapel said.

Even with a bit of mixed results, Lee was excited going into their first game against Terra Nova, the defending Central Coast Section Division III champions from last year.

“We’re pretty excited about playing Terra Nova,” Lee said. “Coach [Bill] Gray does an outstanding job over there and we’ve had some good battles with them in the past. Should be fun.”

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  1. Bob the Builder says:

    Bob the Builder thinks that SH has good talet, but are in a “Building phase” right now.

  2. DaMack says:

    Their line is too small and it showed in the scrimmages good luck but you don’t stand a chance

  3. Fan says:

    I think the O line and D line will have a long season ahead of them if then can’t open holes for Miles and they can’t stop opposing teams. They need to work on the pass protection so Harrington can get it to the receivers and backs. Their defensive backfield will be ask to come up to the line more to stop the run if the D line can not close the holes and gaps which will leave them on the field a lot longer. It did not look like SH dressed more then 35 players for the scrimmage so they need to bulk up their roster with maybe a few more JV players????

  4. Irish Lullabies says:

    Sacred Hearts O-Line lost most major starters, a key attribute will be Devon Villanueva, was a solid Jr. player starting on the O-Line along with Pardini, Keightley, Stornaiuolo, Vukasin. Zone scheme may not work with a small O-Line, we will see where it goes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Si also played again Gaileo, what a joke

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