Football: Sacred Heart can’t recover from early mistakes against St. Francis

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior running back Tevin Goodwin is corralled by a St. Francis defender on Friday at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. (Photo by Aaron Perez)

By Jeremy Balan

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Don’t let the score fool you, the Sacred Heart Cathedral defense came to play on the road Friday against St. Francis.

The Irish offense, however, did not follow suit and self-destructed early in a 35-14 West Catholic Athletic League loss to the Lancers.

Without standout senior running back Valentino Miles, who was benched for the first quarter for violating team rules, the Irish (4-2, 1-2) spotted St. Francis (2-4, 1-2) 21 points in the opening frame and never recovered.

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior running back Valentino Miles turns the corner against St. Francis on Friday at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. (Photo by Aaron Perez)

Two of the first-quarter touchdowns came on interception returns, beginning what was a rough night for Sacred Heart senior quarterback Jack Harrington.

Harrington also fumbled on a fourth-and-goal play in the final seconds of the first half and lost another fumble on the first Irish possession of the second half.

“It’s always nice when your defense can create turnovers and put points on the board from those turnovers,” said St. Francis head coach Nick Navarro. “We got a good start and got out of the gates well, and that’s what we need to do.”

The Irish actually outgained St. Francis 267-210, but also turned the ball over on downs twice and never challenged the Lancers’ lead.

“We didn’t live up to our end of the bargain,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee, who also coordinates the Irish offense. “You can’t win in this league when you turn the ball over like that. I don’t know if we were focused, to be honest.”

Miles returned in the second quarter and was one of the lone offensive bright spots for the Irish, running for a game-high 139 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

“It’s an in-house issue and that’s why he didn’t get to play in the first quarter,” Lee said. “But it was reflected in the way he ran the rest of the game.”

The Lancers did score three offensive touchdowns, but were boosted by prime field position throughout.

The St. Francis offense didn’t exactly impress either, but didn’t turn the ball over and leaned heavily on bruising senior running back Durell Crooks, who ran for 138 yards on 21 carries.

St. Francis senior running back Durell Crooks works his way through the Sacred Heart Cathedral defense on Friday at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. (Photo by Aaron Perez)

With the game decided and the second-team St. Francis defense in, Sacred Heart Cathedral junior backup quarterback Jerry Peralta led the Irish on a 75-yard scoring drive capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass to Dan Ryan in the final minute of the game.

Peralta threw for 43 yards on the drive and scrambled for 17 more, but Lee says there is no doubt Harrington will start against St. Ignatius next week.

The Bruce-Mahoney game will present it’s own challenges for the Irish, especially after such a disheartening loss, and Lee is stressing to his team the importance of filtering out outside influences and the pressures that come with the rivalry game.

“A lot of that game is mental and we need to focus on what we do,” Lee said. “It’s great that the alumni come out. We love it and we appreciate it, but we have to focus on ourselves and what we do, nothing else.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
SF: 5:48 — Braden Bishop 33-yard interception return (Jason Shelton kick good)
SF: 0:41 — Bishop 3-yard fumble recovery (Shelton kick good)
SF: 0:04 — David Mapa 60-yard interception return (Shelton kick good)

Fourth Quarter
SF: 9:23 — Mapa 7-yard run (Shelton kick good)
SH: 6:04 — Valentino Miles 1-yard run (Jack Harrington kick good)
SF: 2:21 — Mapa 3-yard run (Shelton kick good)
SH: 0:13 — Dan Ryan 9-yard pass from Jerry Peralta (Jack Harrington kick good)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Was it really worth giving up the game for the good thing is never the right thing but right thing is always the good thing. Pride leads to wrong decision.

  2. Fan says:

    Well I guess in practice focus and securing the ball should be primary goals this week. Plus catching the football when it’s thrown to you. Heck let’s just say the offense better be focus in practice this week.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wiil agree with you fan perfect practice makes perfect play in all faze of the game offense and defense

    • IC Stars says:

      Right, but shouldn’t those “problems” be resolved in practice and scrimmages before the season starts?

      • Fan says:

        Not necessarily, in a perfect world yes but it isn’t perfect and I would not have thought that benching Miles during the first quarter would have disrupted the offense so significantly. They have other weapons but obviously have become very dependent on Miles and that is a bad sign

  4. Cityfan says:

    The “good” and “right” thing was to bench Miles for the first quarter If that is what you are referring to. Coach Lee has integrity above all else. He has benched his “star” players in the past and will continue to do so. They have a tendency to think they are above the rest. The game was not lost b/c Miles was out, it was lost b/c the offense didn’t play like they should. Interceptions and fumbles don’t win games.

  5. Theconfused5 says:

    I believe you mean to say recover, not revover, in the title.

  6. Fan says:

    @ Cityfan: spot on! U can’t give a team 21 points out the gate and expect to win.

  7. Johnny Drama says:

    Maybe ARHS stats is right. Without Miles SHC would lose to everyone.

    • IC Stars says:

      …and if SI doesn’t commit penalties, they beat VC.

      • stignatiuswildcats says:

        …and Mitty too.

        • Fan says:

          I don’t believe they would lose to everyone but he obviously adds a dimension to their offense that they sorely lack or his presence hinders others from stepping up because they figure Miles will take care of it. The have Tapel, Parker, Viliami, Harrington etc, and I think that they are not getting utilized as much because Miles is such a big chunk of their offense. It’s great when Miles is running wild but it holds back others from developing their skills to help complement those that Miles have. Someone said before that SH had some pretty good running backs and SI knew that and put 8-9 guys in the box to stop the run and when other guys couldn’t step up the game was over. It is time for everyone to step up.

  8. WCAL Alum says:

    I respect Coach Lee for sticking to his guns and suspension. A lesson learned. He is looking big picture and in long run beter for his kids. Also not sure I will make it out to SI/SHC game as coach Lee indicated it is just another game.

    • IC Stars says:

      But was it worth sacrificing a playoff berth?

      • Fan says:

        Yes because Miles should have followed whatever the rules are and not have broken them. Let’s put some responsibility on his shoulders because it’s a two way street. And if one game depends entirely on a playoff berth then why play 8-9 games. They are now 1-2 in league and 4-2 overall, don’t give up the ship just yet……

  9. WCAL Alum says:

    In my opinion, yes. A good life lesson.

  10. Anonymous says:


  11. Cityfan says:

    Ic stars…it’s called integrity. As far as sacrificing a ccs berth, recall when shc was playing their first ccs championship game he didn’t put yarnway in until the second quarter because he missed practice that week due to a concussion! No practice no play no matter what. Integrity. Star or no star. The kids see and respect that about him. If he played his “stars” every game no matter what, that would cause desension amongst the players and a cancer would spread. It’s more than football, it a life lesson

    • IC Stars says:

      What I’m saying is he could have done something else besides bench him.

      • Fan says:

        Come on stars, like what should he have done? If those are the rules follow them. It’s a bitter pill for the whole Irish followers that he had to sit out that first quarter because maybe it could have gone better for the offense but reality is he sat out and the offense stunk

  12. Anonymous says:

    I agree that benching miles sacrificed this game but it was well worth it. Life lessons are more important than one small football game. This is a good team and they have good chemistry. If they need to remain focused next week against SI and play a good clean game, they will be successful. Overall, win or loose this is a good team playing in a very challenging league but this team has more heart and spirit than past ones.

  13. sports time says:

    The team should be mad at the kid Miles for putting himself before the team and not at coach Lee who is teaching a life lesson that if you don’t follow the rules you will be accountable period…Miles should conduct himself like a leader who shows the whole team what good work ethic is. SHC will be fine and continue to battle. Good job coach!

    • IC Stars says:

      We don’t know what he did and Lee is keeping it in the house, which he should.

      What about the fans who drove down there, paid money for tickets, food, gas and bridge tolls?

      • Fan says:

        And so the fans that drove down came to see a game just like when you pay to see a play and the lead actor/actress is sick or can’t perform and the understudy has to take over. You are pissed because you paid to see the “star” but on occassion the understudy performs ok, better then, or they suck. Its the luck of the draw.

        You gotta get over it. Its over and done with, really are you going to be bitter for the rest of the season that he sat out the first quarter? Come on just let it go………

        • IC Stars says:

          Yes, thank you Dr. Phan.. just a few deeeep breaths. Ahhh-hewwww.. there, that’s better. Now I can watch these guys miss the playoffs and wait another year.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is not personal just getting opinions from other people and what they think it’s just PR so people let’s not get offended by any of this the game is over now time to focus on the next game. Lets go WCAL SF

  15. IC Stars says:

    How do you guys think the St. Francis debacle will affect the players for their next game against SI this Friday?

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