Football: Riordan offense struggles in lopsided loss to Serra

Serra defensive lineman Fia Malepeai wraps up Riordan sophomore quarterback Zach Masoli on Saturday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

Archbishop Riordan High School’s football team is getting better. It’s just hard to see against the West Catholic Athletic League’s best teams.

The Crusaders limited a potent Serra offense to 284 yards, but familiar problems with their young offense led to a 35-10 loss Saturday at Archbishop Riordan High School.

Riordan junior linebacker Mark Mulligan wraps up a Serra ball carrier on Saturday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Doug Ko)

The Riordan (1-6, 0-4) offensive line struggled throughout and allowed sophomore quarterback Zach Masoli to be sacked seven times, stalling any momentum gained by the Crusaders’ defense. Riordan was also hampered by penalties, committing 10 for 107 yards.

“We’re making improvements and we need to,” said Riordan head coach Richard Sweeney. “We have to eliminate the stupid penalties, get our protection honed up and get Zach some time to throw the football, because he’s pretty good.”

Masoli was on the run on nearly every passing play, but even with the negative yards on the sacks, he led the Crusaders in rushing with 38 yards. He also threw for 149 yards on 9-of-25 passing, including a 58-yard touchdown strike to fellow sophomore Christopher Hall in the fourth quarter.

“It’s frustrating for Zach and it’s frustrating for everybody,” Sweeney said. “I have to look at ways to improve our protection and get him out of harm’s way. We’re trying three-step [drops] and he can’t get to his second step before people are on him.”

Serra (6-1, 3-1) got 127 yards and two touchdowns on the ground from Colorado-bound senior running back Erich Wilson, but turned the ball over three times in the first half to keep Riordan in the game.

“There were some self-inflicted wounds there in the first half,” said Serra head coach Patrick Walsh. “Riordan fought hard today and there was definitely improvement in their tenacity.”

Fortunately for the Padres, the Crusaders could not capitalize on the first-half mistakes.

With time winding down in the second quarter, Masoli led the Crusaders down to the the Serra 9-yard line, but was intercepted with 19 seconds left in the half, and Riordan failed to cut into the 21-3 Serra lead.

Riordan junior linebacker Mark Mulligan accounted for all three turnovers, with two fumble recoveries and an interception in the first half.

“He had a big day,” Sweeney said. “He’s our leading tackler and right now is our most valuable defender. He still has things he needs to work on, but he’s a football player and he wants to be the best he can be.”

Serra senior running back Erich Wilson breaks through the Riordan defensive line on Saturday at Archbishop Riordan High School. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Eager to get back into the game, Riordan took some chances in the third quarter, including a failed fake punt, and Serra pounced on their short-field opportunities. The Padres only ran five plays in the third quarter, but extended their lead to 35-3.

“We need to take advantage of some of those breaks, but obviously Serra is a good team,” Sweeney said. “We’ll just keep working.”

Riordan continues WCAL play next week against Mitty, while Serra has a showdown with first-place Bellarmine.

“We have a lot of stuff to work on,” Walsh said. “Obviously we have a huge game against Bellarmine in six days.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
S: 9:39 — Erich Wilson 42-yard run (Anthony Toms kick good)
S: 1:01 — Chad Baur 68-yard punt return (Toms kick good)

Second Quarter
R: 10:24 — Jose Rodriguez 32-yard field goal
S: 2:15 — Joey Erdie 3-yard run (Toms kick good)

Third Quarter
S: 9:29 — Wilson 6-yard run (Toms kick good)
S: 3:51 — Jacob Goell 5-yard run (Toms kick good)

Fourth Quarter
R: 3:12 — Christopher Hall 58-yard pass from Zach Masoli (Rodriguez kick good)

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8 Comments

  1. bingobob says:

    Rome was not built in a day! step by step things will turn around, this is a work in progress!! Go Crusaaders!

  2. Peel dog says:

    What if redwood played more than one carry??? Although that carry was for 17yds. Keep going Riordan the present/future is always dark before the dawn. The” Daly effect” will show soon. Good or bad! I am just glad I was wrong about the SI/SHC game. Zack good Heath and good luck. The lower level coaching is suspect coach Sweeney!

  3. WCAL Fan says:

    Keep your heads up Crusaders. Just keep building on each game. The WCAL is a strong league and one day we will back on top. Growing pains are always tough. Your fans still love and support you guys.

  4. Bugs Bunny says:

    Peel….The lower level coaching is worse than you think. The Frosh staff has some nice guys on it but might be better suited for 10 or 11 year old Pop Warner kids. The JV staff has a head coach that does not even want to be there! These are the guys that were kept over some of last years departures? I was at the varsity game on Saturday and our young men played hard for 4 quarters but let’s be honest. We scored 1 touchdown against the Serra 3’s. Did Redwood realy only have 1 carry? what does that tell you? I saw our buddy FUBO talking smack on another board about the Serra D line. They had 7 sacks! I hope better days are ahead but we need to start improving now! KP where are you????

  5. Peel dog says:

    That being the case, I would think that Daly is not done changing coaches at Riordan. I don’t think you can wait two years for coach P.

  6. I'm just sayin says:

    Stop hiring egomaniacs, listen to the kids for a change. Nobody cares what they want and they are the ones that have to deal with these guys. This year the program took a step back, all three levels are getting smoked you have to start at the top I’m afraid. Last years freshman have a winning season and now nobody is winning com’on man stop making excuses. How can you attract flies with-out honey kids are walking off the field this is sad.

  7. I'm just sayin says:

    I want to see things get better go Riordan

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