By Bonta Hill
Coming into their West Catholic Athletic League tilt against Serra High School, St. Ignatius knew the key to defeating the Padres would be to slow down their vaunted running game.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they couldn’t stop or slow down the Serra rushing attack.
Colorado-bound wingback Erich Wilson led Serra with 247 yards and four touchdowns on just 13 carries, as the visiting Padres routed the Wildcats 49-28.
Wilson wasn’t the lone big-play threat, as quarterback Joey Erdie ran for 163 yards on 14 carries and running back Eric Redwood added 129 yards on 16 carries. The Padres (5-0, 2-0) rushed for 547 yards on the day.
“We’re not ashamed to say we run the football. Some teams throw it, some teams are more balanced, but we’re a running-football school,” said Serra head coach Patrick Walsh. “Our offensive line was blocking great and I was happy with the way we ran the ball today.”
Down 14-0 early in the second quarter, the Wildcats (2-2-1, 0-1-1) appeared to steal the momentum when they went converted three third-and-long situations on a 15-play, 85-yard scoring drive, capped by 6- yard run from junior quarterback Jack Stinn.
But Serra stole back the momentum with two unanswered long touchdown runs. Four plays after the St. Ignatius touchdown, Redwood took a handoff and broke a 55-yard run up the middle to put the Padres up 21-7 with 6:11 remaining in the first half.
After forcing a St. Ignatius punt on the next series, Wilson took Serra’s first play of their possession for an 84-yard touchdown, easily outrunning the Wildcats’ defense.
“Momentum in any game is big, and after those plays, it’s safe to say the momentum changed,” said St. Ignatius head coach John Regalia. “They have a great run scheme and some very talented players.”
Stinn put up a valiant effort for St. Ignatius by keeping numerous plays alive with his legs and finished with 214 yards on 14-of-26 passing. St. Ignatius senior running back Kerry Crowley rushed for 70 yards and had three short touchdowns runs on 19 carries.
The exclamation point came with 20 seconds remaining in third quarter when Erdie faked a handoff, ran through a hole on the left side of the offensive line, and took off for an 89-yard touchdown. That was Serra’s second one-play drive of over 80 yards.
Serra didn’t complete a pass on Saturday and it didn’t have to. With several run-heavy teams in the WCAL, stopping the run is the obvious priority for St. Ignatius going forward.
“Every team in this league can run the ball, whether it’s Serra, Bellermine [or] Sacred Heart [Cathedral],” Regalia said. “This year everybody has good backs and has good personnel, and it has to be a point of emphasis for us to improve, no question about it.”
S: 6:53 — Erich Wilson 17-yard run (Anthony Toms kick good)
S: 11:56 — Eric Redwood 5-yard run (Toms kick good)
SI: 8:00 — Jack Stinn 6-yard run (Michael Capitolo kick good)
S: 6:11 — Redwood 55-yard run (Toms kick good)
S: 3:00 — Wilson 84-yard run (Toms kick good)
S: 5:00 — Wilson 4-yard run (Toms kick good)
SI: 0:26 — Kerry Crowley 1-yard run (Capitolo kick good)
S: 0:10 — Joey Erdie 89-yard run (Toms kick good)
SI: 8:43 – Crowley 5-yard run (Capitolo kick good)
S: 6:26 – Wilson 67-yard run (Toms kick good)
SI: 2:33 – Crowley 3-yard run (Capitolo kick good)