By Bonta Hill
Saturday’s scrimmage between St. Ignatius and Galileo showed two teams with one major difference — a disparity in varsity experience.
While Galileo is going through a youth movement with sophomore’s Dontell Jackson, Kyle Nelson and Ronzel Fox, St. Ignatius looked more seasoned.
St. Ignatius displayed its physicality on both sides of the ball against the young Lions – a performance that had Wildcats head coach John Regalia in a pleasant mood heading into their season opener next week against Marin Catholic.
“We want to evaluate effort, how we execute and how we compete. I thought we did a good job in those areas,” Regalia said. “I thought the guys’ effort was great and they competed well.”
The St. Ignatius first-team offense moved the ball with their ground game against the much smaller Lions.
In the first of six eight-minute sessions, running back Kerry Crowley got through a hole behind the right side of the Wildcat offensive line and ran for a 35-yard touchdown. Later in the session, Albert Waters took a handoff from junior quarterback Jack Stinn and outran the Galileo defense for a 75-yard touchdown.
The St. Ignatius first-string defense was just as dominant, making it tough for Nelson, Galileo’s sophomore quarterback, to get anything going for the Lions offense.
After Nelson connected with Dontell Jackson for a 19-yard pass on the first play of the afternoon, the Lions couldn’t get much going. Nelson would later get picked off by St. Ignatius safety Chad Cohan and finished 2-for-7 and totaled 25 yards.
With the Lions low on numbers, on top of having sophomores playing in pivotal positions, Galileo head coach Mark Huynh hoped the scrimmage was a wake-up call.
Galileo, showcasing a spread offense instead of the run heavy package that they showed in the past, did move the ball against the Wildcats second-team defense, as Nelson connected with Sebastian Brezeale and Liam Ford for two touchdown passes.
“We’re thin, not only in age but in numbers, so in the long run if we can sustain it physically, we may have a chance when we go into the season,” Huynh said. “It looks promising, but if we can’t get fit, we’re in trouble.”
Stinn was efficient, going 6-for-10 through the air with 68 yards and a touchdown. Travis McDow, the team’s first-team tight end in the scrimmage, was equally effective at quarterback with the second unit, throwing for 70 yards and a touchdown on 4-of-4 completions.
Although Stinn took all the first-team snaps, Regalia wouldn’t commit to naming the starter for next week’s season opener.
“For the scrimmage, that’s the situation we looked at all week and that’s how we wanted to approach the scrimmage,” Regalia said. “We’ll name a starter by the end of the week.”
With Galileo’s starters pretty much set, Huynh just wants his bunch to start working harder during the week.
“The biggest thing that we talked about after the game was that we’re thin in numbers, which means we better get in shape,” Huynh said. “We haven’t been practicing that well, so hopefully this experience wakes us up.”
The Lions open up their season against Mills High School on Friday.