Football: Riordan overwhelmed in all aspects by Bellarmine

Riordan sophomore quarterback Zach Masoli tries to scramble away from a Bellarmine defender on Saturday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Stephanie Trapp)

By Bonta Hill

Two weeks ago, Bellarmine traveled up to San Francisco and sleepwalked its way through the first three quarters against Sacred Heart Cathedral before waking up in the final 12 minutes to defeat the Irish 14-7.

The Bells’ second visit to the City was much less stressful, as they started fast and dominated throughout in a 56-0 West Catholic Athletic League win over Riordan.

Riordan junior running back Armani McFarland carries the ball upfield against Bellarmine on Saturday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Stephanie Trapp)

The Crusaders (1-5, 0-3) couldn’t keep up with one of the state’s best teams and gave up 21 second-quarter points to the explosive Bells (5-1, 3-0), while they dealt with their own offensive struggles.

The Crusaders were only able to muster 55 yards rushing and 54 yards passing as they were shutout for the first time this season.

“This is a bona fide [league], the best in Northern California, and we’re just not at that level yet,” said Riordan head coach Richard Sweeney. “We just have to keep working hard, stay together and learn how to play as a team.”

The Bells rushed for 346 yards on the day, but it was their passing game that broke the game open in the second quarter.

Bellarmine quarterback Travis McHugh only threw three passes on the day, but two of those attempts went for touchdowns.

With 2:47 left in the second quarter, McHugh found tight end Alex Manigo for a 29-yard score, and after forcing Riordan to punt on its next drive, Bellarmine struck again, as McHugh’s screen pass to Tim Crawley went 54-yards down the sideline to put the Bells up 28-0 with 1:26 left in the first half.

“We were ready to play this time around [in San Francisco] and we came out crisp and sharp,” said Bellarmine head coach Mike Janda. “It was [really] important for our team to start fast and pounce on them, and with a young team like that, it’s hard for them to come back.”

For the Crusaders to pull off an upset, they needed to be near-perfect, but penalties — most notably for delay of game — halted any little momentum they tried to muster.

Bellarmine senior quarterback Travis McHugh flips the ball to one of his running backs against Riordan on Saturday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Stephanie Trapp)

“When you play somebody who’s really good you sometimes press, and I thought we did a little bit of that today,” Sweeney said. “The delay of games penalties rest on my squarely on my shoulders.”

The grind of the WCAL season continues for Riordan next week, when the Crusaders will try to earn their first victory in league play against Serra.

“We’ll heal up, get iced, get our studies done and come back Monday and watch the film,” Sweeney said. “We’ve got to get better and there is no doubt about that.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
B: 7:22 — Conner Jauch 1-yard run (Aaron Gamboa kick good)

Second Quarter
B: 8:12 — Jauch 43-yard run (Gamboa kick good)
B: 2:47 — Alex Manigo 29-yard pass from Travis McHugh (Gamboa kick good)
B: 1:26 — Tim Crawley 54-yard pass from McHugh (Gamboa kick good)

Third Quarter
B: 8:29 — Jake Whipple 1-yard run (Gamboa kick good)
B: 2:54 — Whipple 9-yard run (Gamboa kick good)

Fourth Quarter
B: 9:05 — Garrett Wahler 6-yard run (Gamboa kick good)
B: 3:36 — Matt Helmers 43-yard run (Gamboa kick good)

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43 Comments

  1. GCJ says:

    I find it interesting that people who support the WCAL always brag about how much better the WCAL City teams are than the AAA. This may be true…in some aspects, but explain why all three City teams are CHOKING so far this season. I will admit, as a league for right now, the WCAL is the stronger of the two leagues, but it’s NOT because of the City teams. I also find it interesting that there is less AAA bashing this football season. Maybe it’s because SI, SH, and Riordan isn’t doing so well themselves….hmmmmmm.

  2. sports time says:

    Are you kidding me GCJ?? SHC-Riordan-SI would spank all the AAA teams period…Go watch the 3 city teams play and tell me honestly what AAA team can play with WCAL teams?? Be honest!!

  3. JJ says:

    All 3 City WCAL teams haven’t won a game in the WCAL in more than 2 weeks, so it’s back to bashing the AAA, on the superiority of the WCAL over the AAA?

    • SF says:

      If Sacred Heart, St. Ignatius, and Riordan participated in AAA Football they would be three of the four playoff teams every year.

      • Don L. says:

        At the end of the day, who cares which schools or leagues are better (or worse)? Whoever wins the AAA football championship isn’t going to care whether or not they could have beaten SI, SH or Riordan because they don’t have to. Can’t people let the AAA teams have some peace? I’d like to see WCAL teams work with what AAA teams have to deal with: Lack of players, funds, and not always great facilities (though a few AAA schools like Wash, Galileo and Burton have their facilities upgraded).

        It’s great to wave the “we’re better” flag but the WCAL schools get to pick kids outside of the SF area, have a lot of alumni support and in general have a of advantages the AAA schools don’t always have.

        • WCAL Fan says:

          I agree with you Don. Stop bashing all SF schools. At the end of the day the kids are just trying to do their best. Were lucky to have all these great schools in San Francisco.

        • IRISH 85 says:

          Hey Don L.last time I checked Lincoln, Washington, Lowell and Balboa
          have better facilities then SHC and Riordan, at least football fields. Bottom line the public school parents need to get off their a@^& and stop free loading off of the state with free tuition. If you want something nice you usually have to pay for it.If your school needs something you either donate money or time. That’s how we do it in the Catholic School system that’s why we have nicer things. We don’t depend on the state when we need a new gym or a field redone we rally together and donate money and get it done. And for lack of players you have them. But the SFUSD students not all but most aren’t disciplined enough to play sports and keep there grades up and most importantiy we have better parent support that’s why we do better. Why don’t you have alumni support?

          • Don L. says:

            It seems to me that the only time the alumni come out in droves for the AAA football or basketball championship games (haven’t been to other sports championship games, so can’t speak for those sports).

            As a Wallenberg alum, I have regularly attended Wallenberg pre-season, regular season and playoff / championship games. Now I could be an exception as I have stuck around the area after high school (went to college here, work here).

            i’m not saying there’s ZERO alumni support as many of the AAA school’s have coaches who are alumni. But as far as fans go, it’s usually current students and parents. Plus, I don’t know how much alumni contribute financially to school’s. I’m pretty sure the WCAL school’s have plenty of alum that do that.

      • GCJ says:

        I agree with you that SH and SI would make it every year….I’m not too sure about Riordan though.

        • Anonymous says:

          Irish – ever wonder why city WCAL never(won’t) play AAA schools? If one lost what would that do to your rep. AAA is a weak league as a whole no doubt but I’d bet the top three AAA schools could hang with any city WCAL school over time.

          • Cats Pride says:

            SI tries to play an out-of conference schedule that will challenge them (MC, O’Dowd, and Menlo-Atherton) and get them ready for league play, none of the AAA schools can offer that. SI did scrimmage Gallileo though, not sure what the result was.

          • IC Stars says:

            SHC stopped playing AAA schools because the competition level wasn’t what it once was. I thought they would at least keep scheduling Lowell. In another 20 years they could pass them in the all-time series.

            The last time the Irish played a AAA team in football was against Washington in 2004 (W 26-13). Over the years, the only AAA team Sacred Heart has a winning record over is Wilson at 7-1.

            They still play AAA teams in baseball and occasionally in basketball.

            • Don L. says:

              I think it’s a little easier for WCAL schools to play the AAA in other sports besides football. Lowell girls basketball typically plays SI girls in the preseason (probably due to proximity) SH girls have played Washington girls a lot lately. Most people probably don’t know that Washington’s girls coach used to coach at SH (Frosh boys or something I think) so there’s a connection there. Lincoln girls have also played SI / SH a lot lately. I seem to recall Washington boys playing SI and Balboa boys playing Riordan last season. Washington had a decent team and hung tough against SI.

              For the AAA basketball teams, I think it’s a chance to play some quality opponents locally. In AAA girls basketball recently, it’s been Lowell, Washington, Lincoln and everyone else. So, the top teams always try to play tough teams in the preseason as they know some league games won’t be as competitive unless they are playing each other. The AAA boys teams, if past history is any indication, will play tougher opponents if they think they can compete at a higher level than just the AAA.

              I’m not exactly sure what the WCAL school’s get out of playing the AAA schools. About the only thing I can think of is that the WCAL school’s figure that if they get a competitive game, it’s a bonus. Otherwise, it’s a chance to give their 2nd / 3rd stringers a chance against live competition. The AAA teams might not always have the talent but the top teams usually do compete hard.

  4. Bugs Bunny says:

    I hope our boys are more inspired than hey were this week,DID OT LOOK GOOD.

  5. GCJ says:

    Calm down people! I didn’t mean to hurt your pride or your misguided EGOS! It’s just an obvservation. Thus far, the City teams have been choking. There is still time for them to turn things around (well, at least for SI and SH it is). But right now, the strength of the WCAL is in the South Bay NOT in the City! No matter how much you probably want to, you can not deny this!

    • cherries says:

      Right now? The South Bay teams are ALWAYS the strength of the WCAL, they just have a lot more kids to choose from. And sure the City teams are choking right now, but SI is definately capable of beating those teams. They lost a very close game to Valley and they should’ve beat Mitty.

  6. RABBIT says:

    Lets get back to the game.. I knew that when they fired Blake last year everything was going to get better at Riordan, you can see that in their win/loss record, the scores of the game, the overall program growing and gettting better. Wow what a turnaround. Where are you people who condemmed Blake and his staff for losing?

    • wcalobs says:

      Hey “rabbit” wink wink. It might be best to evaluate the season at the end of the schedule. Let us also see if Sweeney has a real offseason weight program starting in Jan so the football team doesn’t look like a golf team that the previous coach left him with. Those kids walked by me and I swear I didn’t see one that looked like they could bench or squat an olympic bar.
      Sweeney came in late and I know he didn’t really understand the mess he inherited or the competition level of the WCAL nor did he have the time to fix it. And “rabbit”, I’m sure Sweeney has not acted like a baby and refused to shake the opponents hand after a loss.

  7. RABBIT says:

    Blake had the same issues as the current coach, , no weight room, no support, he had nothing, but no one cut him slack, I find that ironic. Its one thing to crticize his coaching, but the haters just dispised him and I read it here all last year. Okay, Sweeney is nice guy, I get it, but you cannot have it both ways, when I see the same results as last year.. Call like it is……………Riordan needs help and it has very little do with coaching.! was it Blake and his staff’s fault that they stunk it up last year? is it Sweeneys fault this year? One can make the argument that they have MORE talent this year than last, albeit young talent, but talent nonetheless. Its a tough league, I know it first hand, but I just find it ironic that so many hated on Blake last year, and Sweeney is getting a pass, so far.

    I just want a fair and balanced dialogue going on here and I don’t see it.. I wnat roiordan to WIN period, I dont care whi cpoaches them, but come on guys.

    As far as handshakegate, you are speaking about the Inderkum game; that was a bonehead move and I am sure he heard about it, but so what, does that mean?

    If the players look smallish, ask them about their summer workouts, or should I say, lack thereof.
    That hasnt nothng to do with the last coaching staff who worked their butts off during the summer the previous year.

    • wcalobs says:

      Its not “hating” its analysis. When the season is over the coaches can be evaluated. If the current coaching staff “work their butts off” and still have a golf club physically weak team next season it will be on them. Are you saying Blake and his staff had a weight program from January of this year till he was let go? Hanging out with the track team is not a weight program.
      And do you understand if you just start working out in July it is too late. Its not Summer workouts it is off season workouts. Nobody is liking the butt whippings this fourth straight year in a row.

  8. Bugs Bunny says:

    More talent on the field and a TON less on the sidelines. This is starting to bcome obvious. I like Sweeney but he looks to be way ot of his league here. Massoli will get them some pre seson wins and maybe SH as they are looking down after this year. Last years staff won 1 game but it wasa WCAL win. Love what you are doing wih the school Pat but this was a mistake. Good luck to our boys this weekend. Hopefully Walsh will rest Wison and Redwood and maybe just maybe.

  9. sports time says:

    Riordan is going through tough times right now but they’ll be fine soon. SHC has talent and plays defense like gang busters and have good offensive players too. They need some big wins vs Serra or V.C. or even SI to make it a good season. SI continues to play teams tough and like SHC cannot get a win vs the big teams like Serra-V.C-Bells-Mitty. Keep fighting and working hard kids and good things will happen for you…

  10. RABBIT says:

    Hey Bugs, thanks for telling thr truth and calling it like it is; Blake was the better choice, he loves football, he knows the city, he knows the league, he understands what it would take to win. He was the right fit but unfortunately at the wrong time. What bugs me, is that he was let go for non football reasons. Did he make rookie mistakes, YES, should he been leet go? NO.

    As far as off season workouts, he had no support to do what he knew he had to do to make it a succesful program. At the very least, he encouraged kids to do other things such as track during the summer for example, so that at least he coultdkeep them in shape.

    You are missing a key ingredient here, MOST of the kids today do not have the same work ethic as we had back in the day. NO ONE told me to workout, I did it on my own, along with my team mates. Today you have to bribe kids to do the right thing, it is frightening. Blake instilled pride and accountabilty into the program; if he was retained, the off season, and summer program workouts would have improved. He knows what he is doing,; he spent 7 seasons at CCSF; dont you think he learned a few things from Rush?

    I love Daly’s passion, but he made a mistake letting Blake go, they had somethng going on there;
    It was personal AND they should all have worked it our for the betterment of the school.

    Now we are looking at an even longer rebuilding effort than should have been expected, because grown ups could not figure it out. Football was not the issue, the issue was control.

  11. Anonymous says:

    To say Blake was a better coach at this stage is ridiculous. Sure Riordan beat SI last year but this years version of SI would easily beat last years Riordan squad. Riordan almost beat SH Prep this year and DV while getting beat bad last year. Against SHC, Riordan lost by more last year and Miles didn’t play second half. They left their starters in almost whole game this year. Bellarmine almost beat DLS so if Blake was around, nothing changes. The problem is lack of talent last year and young talent this year. If Riordan is still performing like this or worse next year and year after, you can say Sweeney underachieved. But to say Blake was the right guy, we’ll never know. They will finish the year with identical records, but given the margin of loss so far this year, I would give the edge to the current staff.

    • wcalobs says:

      What the heck? Let me restate it. WWMD is gone and he isn’t coming back. If Sweeney has the same approach to off-season strength training as the previous couple of coaches it will show and he will be judged accordingly. For now the poor guy hasn’t even finished his first season after coming in late. Riordan has to get tougher and stronger. The other WCAL schools have strong off season weight programs. Riordan has to have one too.

  12. WCALOBSERVER says:

    Blake was arrogant, cocky, and RUDE. He was a coach with no offensive mindset! Sure, the option offense could have worked if you played in the AAA.

    Sweeney has several offensive and defensive packages on the field during a game.

    ALL THEY NEED TO DO IS PUT THE BALL IN DJ HARVEY’S HANDS OR HAVE ARMANI MCFARLAND ATTACK WITH THE GROUND GAME

  13. wcalobs says:

    Rabbit’s infatuation and love affair with the previous coach and staff prevents him or her from being the least bit objective. I haven’t spoke to one person who had a problem with the change. HE IS NOT COMING BACK! Anonymous is right on and Sweeney will be judged after this season and his off-season activity. If the off-season preparation is like the previous two or three years we will see the same results of losses and soft non-physical play. That stuff is not acceptable anymore.

  14. RABBIT says:

    Why do you think i want him back? I am just saying that the posts here are not consistent or as you say, “objective,” when it comes to him vs any other coach I see scrutinized on this site. Is it because, as WCALobserver states? Perhaps so, but I still find it ironic, that Blake has so many enemies on here.

    His offense was predicated on the talent he had, if he had a QB who threw, don’t you think he would have multiple packages and looks? Have you seen CCSFplay? Thats what he knows, wake up here. Don’t be misled.

  15. sports time says:

    Riordan is going through tough times at the moment and will turn it around soon. Tough times call for speculation and negative comments but the kids will bounce back and lets remember that these are high school kids were talking about. I’m not 100% sure what went on with the coaches and the changes but lets give Sweeney some time and see what happens. I found out that a couple kids have quit the team and another decided or his father decided not to let him play unless he’s at a 3.0 gpa. So good talent gone for this year. Riordan’s team will continue to fight and work hard…Good luck kids…

  16. Bugs Bunny says:

    Kids quit? I was told that was an old staff problem. Maybe all of the coaches that are left over should be let go as well. All I know is that they are better at almost every position this year. We can all have opinions but some things are just facts. Good luck this week boys. Go Riordan.

  17. Peel dog says:

    All coaches have some degree of arrogance as do most good ball players. I agree that blake’s biggest mistake was not shaking hands after the beat down, but it was the fact that Daly and coach Peralta both wanted Sweeny hired the year blake got the job and then Daly became the president – end of Blake. Now that Blake is out, look for coach P to return when his kid finishes up at SHC.

    • RABBIT says:

      Hey Peel dog, that is the plan, and that has been the plan from day 1; I think Blake made a few mistakes besides the handshake or lack of one, but he was toast as soon as daly was hired. The fact that sweeney was at best a third choice, ( lee and/or peralta as numero unos) tells all you have to know about daly and his vision. If he kept blake around another year or two, and then peralta said, “ok Im ready, and the Crusaders had success, it would have been more difficcult to move Blake aside. dirty politics, but thats way I see it.

      • Kezar for Keeps says:

        Your idea that Lee would have wanted the Riordan job is idiotic.

        • RABBIT says:

          I didn’t say he wanted it, and I agree that would be idiotic, he has built somethng real special at SH, but I wouldn’t be so surprised to know that he was offered the job?

  18. Peel dog says:

    Almost forgot, Serra by 30 points. Redwood and Wilson will rest at half. Do not forget Blake also coached with Serra and coach Walsh. I think I saw Last years Riordan JV coach on the staff at Serra. Could there be some hurt feelings there?

  19. Bugs Bunny says:

    I have spoken to that coch this year. I do not beleive that there are any hard feelings there. I think he is a Serra grad so he is back home. I think tht Riordan will keep this one closer than people think. 35-24 Serra. hurts to pick against Riordan but have to keep it real. Go Rioran.

  20. Peel dog says:

    Home is the place to be, it all worked out for him good to hear. Lee to Riordan may have been the smart move for lee. daly in charge of sports and admissions and the school is great for Riordan and bad for SHC. I doubt that the SHC coaches and their administration are all on the same page, and Daly is the only page to speak of at Riordan. Does anyone think for a minute that daly and Lee do not compete for some of the same kids? With that being said Riordan will soon be attractive enough to 8th graders who will see a new field, track and better on campus experience then a small practice field and bus rides to some far away practice field. Soon SHC will be down in numbers due to the ” Daly effect “.It might have been a smarter move despite what many think.

  21. sports time says:

    I agree with you Peel dog, Lee to Riordan was a rumor but SHC is where Lee’s heart is 100%…After this year SHC will drop big time talent wise and will begin to struggle again. Riordan will be on the up swing for better things and better teams. Good luck to the city teams!!

  22. WCALOBSERVER says:

    What did WWMD mean?

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