By Jeremy Balan
St. Ignatius still hasn’t put together four consecutive quarters of solid football, but luckily for the Wildcats, their defense was dominant enough through three to build up a 35-0 lead against Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland.
The Dragons, which outgained St. Ignatius 278-231, rallied in the fourth quarter to cut the final score to 35-20, but the huge deficit was too much to overcome.
St. Ignatius (1-1) limited the Dragons (0-2) to just 63 first-half yards and an opportunistic Wildcats offense took advantage of prime field position to build a 28-0 lead at the half.
“We’ve got to work on some things, but we didn’t let them come back,” said St. Ignatius coach John Regalia. “They’re a very good team, have good athletes and are well-coached. They fought back, and we knew they would.”
O’Dowd drove the ball at-will in the fourth quarter, and was moving the ball again with just over a minute to play when St. Ignatius senior defensive back Kevin O’Connor intercepted O’Dowd quarterback Dominic Miroglio for the second time to seal the victory.
“After last week, we knew we needed to refocus, so having a good game this week meant a lot,” O’Connor said. “One of our goals this year is to finish and that’s something we need to do.”
The St. Ignatius offense wasn’t nearly as potent as it was during last week’s matchup against Marin Catholic and only totaled 231 yards, but it didn’t need to be. After building up the big lead on two touchdown runs from fullback Dom Truoccolo, a touchdown run from running back Kerry Crowley and a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown by Mike Pia, the Wildcats controlled possession and managed the clock in the second half.
“We need to put some more points up in the second half to help out a little bit, but we took what the defense gave us,” said St. Ignatius junior quarterback Jack Stinn, who threw for 120 yards on 14-of-21 passing. “We were running the ball well on them and didn’t really need to pass in the second half. Why throw it up when you don’t need to?”
Stinn added a 3-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to stretch the lead to 35-0, but after the St. Ignatius defense held Miroglio to just 50 yards passing in the first half, the junior caught fire in the second, connecting with receivers on touchdown passes of 68, 30 and 29 yards to finish with 232 yards on 14-of-27 passing.
The win gives St. Ignatius it’s first home win since Sept. 19, 2009, when the Wildcats beat Bishop O’Dowd 44-2.
“We want to represent our home field and defend it well,” Regalia said. “This is a good start.”
Bishop O’Dowd head coach Hardy Nickerson refused to comment after the game and also would not allow reporters to talk to O’Dowd players.
SI: 1:59 — Dom Truoccolo 1-yard run (Michael Capitolo kick good)
SI: 8:49 — Truoccolo 3-yard run (Capitolo kick good)
SI: 6:13 — Mike Pia 73-yard punt return (Capitolo kick good)
SI: 5:00 — Kerry Crowley 11-yard run (Capitolo kick good)
SI: 5:02 — Jack Stinn 3-yard run (Capitolo kick good)
BO: 4:06 — Dominic Gomes 68-yard pass from Dominic Miroglio (Eric Hernandez kick good)
BO: 10:35 — De’Zhon Grace 30-yard pass from Miroglio (kick failed)
BO: 3:52 — Terrence Daniel 29-yard pass from Miroglio (Hernandez kick good)