Football: Miles breaks out for over 300 yards in SHC’s runaway win over SI

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior running back Valentino Miles breaks away from the St. Ignatius defense on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Jeremy Balan

Sacred Heart Cathedral running back Valentino Miles got the Irish started on the right foot in the first quarter against rival St. Ignatius and boy, did he finish.

The standout senior ran for 230 yards in the second half and finished with a staggering 310 yards on 26 carries in a resounding 38-14 Irish win on Friday at Kezar Stadium, ending a five-game losing streak for Sacred Heart in the first leg of the Bruce-Mahoney series.

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior quarterback Jack Harrington sends a throw into the St. Ignatius secondary on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Doug Ko)

The Irish (5-2, 2-2) took a 17-7 lead into halftime, and after forcing two St. Ignatius (2-4-1, 0-3-1) punts to start the third quarter, began their second possession of the half without starting quarterback Jack Harrington, who was out with a leg injury.

Backup quarterback Jerry Peralta entered and handed the ball to Miles on six consecutive plays, capped by a 43-yard touchdown run to give the Irish a 24-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Miles added runs of 74 and 83 yards in the final quarter to set up two more Irish scores and put the game away.

“Jack is a big part of our offense and when he went down, my heart stopped, but it’s a team thing. We believed in each other,” Miles said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. We got the job done today an it’s going to be a memory we have for the rest of our lives.”

Miles may have put the game out of reach, but it was Sacred Heart’s defense that allowed the Irish to build an early lead.

Other than a 61-yard touchdown pass from St. Ignatius quarterback Jack Stinn to Mike Pia in the final seconds of the first half, the Irish defense was dominant, limiting the Wildcats to just 13 offensive plays and 12 rushing yards in the half.

“It’s hard for me to even speak right now,” said Sacred Heart senior linebacker John Morello. “We wanted to dominate and we did. This is a really deep rivalry and I’ve been going to these games for my entire life, and to do this in our senior year — we killed it.”

Stinn threw for 184 yards, but on 11-of-34 passing, and was under constant pressure by the blitzing Irish defense.

“The defense did it once again,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee. “That kid Stinn is good, and for our defense to harass him like that and force him to make some bad throws — I’m just so proud of what these guys have done.”

The Wildcats racked up 323 total yards, but most came on big chunks of yardage late in the fourth quarter with the game already decided.

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior Zach Tapel drags down St. Ignatius junior quarterback Jack Stinn for a sack on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Doug Ko)

“Their scheme is to pressure and that’s what they do,” said St. Ignatius head coach John Regalia. “Obviously we’re disappointed, but [Sacred Heart] is a very good team and they were well prepared.”

Harrington bounced back from a disastrous performance last week against St. Francis and began on fire, connecting on his first five passes of the game to lead the Irish on an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive on their opening possession, capped by a 28-yard strike to Miles.

“That’s why we came out throwing the ball, to build his confidence,” Lee said. “He had to let last week go.”

Harrington was efficient and eliminated the mistakes that haunted him against St. Francis, throwing for 121 yards and three touchdowns on 12-of-19 passing. He also kicked a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter.

“We wanted to come out, hit them fast, hit them hard, and we did that,” Harrington said. “We put those points on the board and didn’t look back.”

Lee was emotional and visibly relieved after the game, as he has taken a considerable amount of heat for his record against St. Ignatius.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Lee said. “I thought we could win, but I didn’t know we could win like this. They displayed heart and soul. I’m just elated right now.”

If the first leg of the Bruce-Mahoney series wasn’t sweet enough, the win likely puts Sacred Heart into the Central Coast Section playoffs for the first time since 2008.

“We want to go into the playoffs winning and go in a high seed,” Morello said. “Wherever we go, I don’t care. We did it and we did it as a team.”

For St. Ignatius, a CCS postseason bid could be slipping away with only three games remaining in the season, but Regalia stressed the importance of preparation moving forward.

“Nothing is going to change,” Regalia said. “We’re going to watch the film, we’re going to learn how to get better as football players and we’re going to keep building this team. Any time you lose, it’s a setback, but you learn and go from there.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
SH: 7:20 — Valentino Miles 28-yard pass from Jack Harrington (Harrington kick good)

Second Quarter
SH: 11:57 — Harrington 27-yard field goal
SH: 3:57 — Zach Tapel 7-yard pass from Harrington (Harrington kick good)
SI: 0:09 — Mike Pia 61-yard pass from Jack Stinn (Michael Capitolo kick good)

Third Quarter
SH: 2:19 — Miles 43-yard run (Daniel Lalor kick good)

Fourth Quarter
SH: 10:20 — Viliami Uikilifi 9-yard pass from Harrington (Harrington kick good)
SH: 7:54 — Jordan Gomes 1-yard run (Harrington kick good)
SI: 3:26 — Kerry Crowley 7-yard run (Capitolo kick good)


Photo slideshow by Doug Ko and Eric Luis

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26 Comments

  1. GCJ says:

    Wow, I thought the game would be closer than what it was.

  2. Kezar for Keeps says:

    “Nothing is going to change”

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Doing the same thing has resulted in zero WCAL wins and a loss in the Bruce. Maybe something should change, like the head coach.

    • IRISH 85 says:

      Don’t disrespect Jerry Mahoney.It’s called the Bruce-Mahoney not the Bruce we don’t call it the Mahoney we honor both men. GO IRISH! Great Job Coach Lee and Staff you deserve it.

      • Bruce says:

        All the kids call it the Bruce. Cuz it’s shorter.

        • IRISH 85 says:

          Maybe the kids from Marin County, the peninsula and the Carpetbaggers that you have at SI call it the Bruce, but true city people have and always will refer to it as the Bruce-Mahoney.

      • Anonymous says:

        no ones trying to disrespect Jerry Mahoney when the say the Bruce. It’s just shorter. True city people call it the Bruce for short. It’s not meant to disrespect Jerry Mahoney in any way.

        • LevytheGreat says:

          SI is a “carpetbagger” school? Last time I checked the majority of the students at SI are from The City. Don’t get me wrong, SI is a regional school BUT so is SHC. How do you explain that some of your best athletes have come from outside San Francisco? Or that they are lured to SHC by the DePaul scholarship?

        • WCAL Alum says:

          Personally I know of no true City person who calls it The Bruce (other than recent SI grad). Its like calling San Francisco, Frisco. The Bruce-Mahoney, plain and simple. Besides, SI has not been a City school for sometime now, to the dismay of many older SI grads. Calling it the Bruce just perpetuates the arrogance label on the SI community at large.

          • Anonymous says:

            Can you please explain to me what a “true City person” is, WCAL Alum? IRISH 85, feel free to enlighten me too.

          • Anonymous says:

            and SH students don’t call it the Bruce either? some of you people are SO IGNORANT!

            • LevytheGreat says:

              It should be referred to as the Bruce Mahoney, period. The trophy and games honor BOTH men. Let’s not get lazy and call it by its first name only. There are two sides to this rivalry. To weigh in on what a “true City person” is I’m going to assume it’s a person born and raised in SF for the first 18 years of that person’s life. That’s how I define it. And last time I checked, San Franciscans are the majority of the students at SI. Plus the school is IN San Francisco. I don’t know what else evidence you need that SI is a City school. Is 156 years not enough for you?

              • WCAL Alum says:

                Let’s agree that both are excellent institutions of learning and that both attract students from outside the City. I even agree with your assumption on a “City” person. We are not only provincial in our thinking, but more so parochial. However, peruse the Annual Report of SI and tell that it reflects the City. Last night looking at the SI crowd is like looking at the Republican National Convention. A few years back, old time alums were concerned with the school’s regional image. Let’s hope things are changing a wee bit.

              • Anonymous says:

                You all are quick to knock the SI crowd for being arrogant, calling them Republicans etc. I witnessed several, let’s just call them, transactions, on the SHC side. Pretty brazen at that. I’d rather associate with arrogant republicans any day of the week.

              • WCAL Alum says:

                First of all, I didnt say SI was “Republican” , I said it looked like watching the RNC. As for what is “transactions and brazen” (did I miss a beheading, Folsom Street Fair display, or human sacrifice), lets just say SHC is a bit more eclectic and inclusionary, thus representative of the City as a whole. Your arrogance comes out by saying you rather associate with one group “any day…” I hope you didnt mean to say that, but couldnt edit your post.

                Personally, I rather hang out with a group that except our differences as a community. Otherwise, I might as well pack up and live in a suburb. Bingo!

                As, i said before, SI is a fine school, but’s not the only school in the unholy trinity.

  3. SI Player says:

    “Kezar for Keeps”, you are wrong. Coach Regalia is right. Absolutely nothing needs to change on his part. And a coaching change is the LAST thing we need to change. Please stop feeding into this uninformed, sideline fan analyzing where hirings and firings are the key. If you came to any our practices or film sessions this week, you would realize that this week (and EVERY week) there’s 100% preparation. The scouting reports Coach Rags creates are thorough and the difference week-to-week in the win/loss column comes down to how well we EXECUTE. That’s what football is, a game of execution.

    Nothing is going to change meaning we’re going to approach every game the same way. Same scouting reports, practice structures, film sessions. What should change is execution on the field, and how well players memorize their scouting reports.

    Not meaning to rant here, I’m just tired of the never-ending culture of calling for coaches jobs – especially when it doesn’t need to happen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And Stephen Domingo out for a considerable time the chances of winning the basketball game in Jan
    Just diminished although I put a lot of faith in Tim Reardon to win that game.

    • LevytheGreat says:

      Domingo will be back weeks before the Bruce Mahoney game at USF. But it’s not a one man team at SI. Good news for the Irish is that they return 3-4 starters from a CCS Championship team this upcoming season.

  5. Fan says:

    Great article JB!

    I hope the defense can keep playing strong for the rest of the season and the offense keeps attacking on the ground and in the air.

  6. Frisco kid 24 says:

    Congrats to the Irish of SHC who played a great game period. Both teams were fighting and doing their best and for the year 2011 the irish are a better team!! SHC now gets the title of city champs for this year but SI and Riordan keep fighting and will continue to get better. Riordan is young and should be solid for the next 2 yrs and SI is just a good solid program. Good job Irish keep pushing towards being a team to remember!!

    • WCAL Fan says:

      Like your style Frisco kid. So tired of bashing the kids and our WCAL schools. Riordan, SI and SCH are all good city schools. Congrats to SCH this go around.

  7. Stupid says:

    You guys are dumb who cares if it’s called the Bruce for short you act like your related to mahoney calm down and shut up

  8. GCJ says:

    Typical WCAL junk….fighting over a name! How sad is that?!?!?!?!

  9. kezarkid says:

    Photo slideshow by Doug Ko and Eric Luis

    Thanks for the great photos

  10. Photog says:

    No problem Kezarkid.. Glad you enjoyed them…..

  11. Pablo says:

    Congrats to the Irish, the team showed great spirit and composure under the pressure of a Bruce/Mahoney game, this is a team that will be hard to beat in CCS assuming they can get another win. I like their chances against Mitty at home, I also believe they have the defense to take down Valley on the Road, I remember the great victory they had down there in the rain in 2008. I slate the game v Serra might be a classic. If this team can indeed get another win or two in WCAL then I believe they should move up to medium school CCS division. The only negative about the result v SI is that they have probably diminished any chance SI had of making CCS, would have been nice to see both teams playing. Great to see SH grad Jason Hill playing so well tonight on National spotlight for Jacksonville,

    Go Irish

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