Football: Sacred Heart Cathedral can’t stop Wilson and Serra on the road

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior quarterback Jerry Peralta sends a throw just beyond the reach of a leaping Serra defender on Saturday at Serra High School in San Mateo. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

SAN MATEO — Even after a dismal first half, Sacred Heart Cathedral seized momentum on the road against Serra when the Irish cut the Padres’ lead to 20-14 late in the third quarter.

Seconds later, Serra superstar Erich Wilson ripped the momentum back, and the Padres cruised to a 35-14 West Catholic Athletic League football win.

Serra senior running back Erich Wilson works his way through the Sacred Heart Cathedral defense on Saturday at Serra High School in San Mateo. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Wilson took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a score, to set a school record with 39 career touchdowns, then scored again on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter to put the Irish away.

“We had the emotional swing on our side, then he runs the kickoff back and that totally took the wind out of our sails,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee.

Wilson finished with a game-high 162 yards on 22 carries and the Padres (7-2, 4-2) totaled 305 yards on the ground. The Sacred Heart defense actually did well limiting big plays and forced three turnovers, but the Padres dominated time of possession and ball control with 62 plays, compared to Sacred Heart’s 39.

“It’s who we are. We have to run the ball to win,” said Serra head coach Patrick Walsh. “We have great runners and I’m really proud of the offensive line. We need to limit the mistakes, but in the WCAL, every win is a good one.”

The Irish (5-4, 2-4) got back into the game when Lee replaced senior starting quarterback Jack Harrington, who did not complete a pass in the game, with junior Jerry Peralta late in the third quarter.

Peralta immediately led the Irish on a four-play, 73-yard scoring drive, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run from Valentino Miles. Then, after the Irish recovered a Serra fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Peralta scrambled for a 20-yard score with 31 seconds remaining in the quarter.

“It wasn’t that tough to make the decision [to pull Harrington],” Lee said. “Jerry is a fiery guy and the team responds to him. I have to do what’s best for 35 players, not just one player, and Jerry gave us that spark.”

Peralta threw for 56 yards and an had an interception on 2-of-5 passing, but the Irish could not rally from a poor offensive effort in the first half. Sacred Heart only gained 25 yards in the first half on just 16 plays and had only one first down, which came off a Serra defensive penalty. Still, the Irish only trailed 13-0 at the break.

Sacred Heart senior running back Valentino Miles tries to break through the Serra defensive line on Saturday at Serra High School in San Mateo. (Photo by Doug Ko)

“I was shocked,” Lee said. “It’s such an emotional game. If we execute like we can [in the first half] and get a score, it’s a whole different game. But that’s not what happened.”

Serra also significantly limited the impact of Miles, who had 69 yards on 14 carries. Although he was largely held down, Miles had three big plays (a 36-yard run and both of Peralta’s completions), the only Sacred Heart gains over 20 yards.

Due to Peralta’s play and the struggles of Harrington, who has started all nine games this season, Lee said the starting job for Sacred Heart’s final regular-season game against Mitty next week is up for grabs.

“We’ll see how the week’s practice goes,” Lee said. “I want to beat Mitty, and whoever is going to give us the best shot [is going to start]. It’s going to be a pure competition and the best man, the guy who performs, is going to get the call.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
S: 6:02 — Joey Erdie 17-yard run (Anthony Toms kick good)

Second Quarter
S: 2:29 — Toms 37-yard field goal
S: 0:02 — Toms 32-yard field goal

Third Quarter
S: 10:15 — Erich Wilson 57-yard run (Toms kick good)
SH: 1:29 — Valentino Miles 3-yard run (Jack Harrington kick good)
SH: 0:31 — Jerry Peralta 20-yard run (Harrington kick good)
S: 0:18 — Wilson 100-yard kickoff return (Eric Redwood run on conversion)

Fourth Quarter
S: 6:10 — Wilson 4-yard run (Toms kick good)

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33 Comments

  1. Fan says:

    The offense has imploded in the past two weeks with minimal output until really the game has already been decided. I say put Peralta in for the Mitty game and see what he can do with the start. There is nothing to lose by playing him. Miles has been bottled up the past two games also and are there no holes being open, is he getting worn down or is the defense keying on him because they know no one else can step up to deliver besides him?

  2. SH Student says:

    Tino is fine if the line can open holes. but START JERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. GCJ01 says:

    Yet….another loss by a City WCAL team. I think I may have a solution. Why don’t the City WCAL teams just play eachother instead; since it seems they can only beat up on one another and not anyone outside of the City! Just a thought!

    • Anonymous says:

      Or…they can just beat up on the lowly and horrible AAA teams week in and week out.

    • IC Stars says:

      Give it a little time… maybe you’ll find another thought.

      • GCJ01 says:

        Anonymous & IC Stars: Is that the best you can come up with? You may bad mouth the AAA, but the WCAL teams aren’t doing any better. Now we all see what happens to you WCAL fans when your teams aren’t doing well….y’all resort to bad mouthing the AAA to take the attention off of your UNDER ACHIEVING teams! How sad! Come back with a STRONGER comment or just do us all a favor and don’t say anything at all! Actually put some thought into what you say!

        • IC Stars says:

          Tell me one thing I said about the AAA.

          • Ari Gold says:

            You cant change people and their beliefs and level of expectations. Dont fault GCJ01 for supporting the AAA and its below average standards while knocking the SF teams in the WCAL. Just let him. Hes missing out. If SH, SI, and Riordan get smashed by Serra, Bellarmine, Mitty, St. Francis and Valley Christian, oh I wonder how bad it would be if a AAA team played them. It would be so bad, the kids would just walk off and forfeit.

  4. IC Stars says:

    That “100 yard kickoff” was caught with Wilson’s right foot about two feet in the endzone… aka “touchback”.

    I really didn’t notice that Harrington didn’t complete a pass, but if the Irish had some better receivers (picture Jeivon Parker at 6’6″) this game is winnable.

    • jbalan says:

      I worded it that way for a reason. I don’t know what the letter of the rule is, but he fielded the ball on the goal line without a doubt, hence the “100 yards.” I can say I’ve seen it called a touchback 100 times before.

      • IC Stars says:

        Right. I’ve seen close calls on that before but I clearly saw his foot in the end zone.

      • ARHS Stats says:

        The football needs to enter the End Zone.

        Referees are not checking where the returner’s feet are on a Kickoff Return.

        If the football does not enter the End Zone it is legal to return it.

        Most Refs will take a second or two to make the call if it is in the End Zone.

        Sometimes you get a late whistle, like in the Riordan vs. SI game.

        I have seen a player catch the ball with both feet in the field of play, but the football enters the End Zone, and the Ref blow the whistle for a touchback.

        I have also seen a player catch the football with 1 foot in the End Zone, but the ball does not enter the End Zone, and the player was allowed to return the kick.

  5. another SH student says:

    The article fails to mention how Harrington didn’t practice all week due to a concussion the week before at Valley Christian. I talked to him after the game and he said he didn’t even know he was starting until friday afternoon.

  6. SHC says:

    Its hard for the players to get up for the game when rules are nit being enforced on all the players certain players didn’t practice but was able to start. And we wonder why the line is not blocking that’s why you have assistant coaches to help you.

  7. Fan says:

    I thought a “touchback” was when the player catches the ball in the end zone and touches a knee down to indicate he is not bring the ball out of the end zone, or if the ball rolls thru the end zone. So what happen did the ball skip on the ground and he picked up and ran with it or did he catch it at the goal line and run it back?

  8. sports time says:

    Oh oh according to SHC coaches are showing favoritism, lets face it coaches always do but you must remain with the team concept to win. The rules should be enforced to all players period. Coaches only have their rules and their word and with that you must coach all players the same. Lets go SHCP its time to start winning or the coaches will lose the soldiers and lose more!

    • Anonymous says:

      SH coaches favoritism? DefiniteLy prime Example is the Varsity
      Girls basketball!!

    • Fan says:

      Favoritism happens in every sport, in the classroom, at work etc. No matter what. A coach must be flexible and approach each team member definitely then another member but never lose focus on why they became a coach in the first place: to inspire, to teach, to make that team member the best they can, when a coach loses that focus they aren’t a coach anymore, they are a distraction, or selfish, or worse a dictator.

  9. Bugs Bunny says:

    WHY WOULD YOU KICK THE BALL ANY WHERE NEAR 21?????????

    • IC Stars says:

      I heard someone shout that in the stands… thought the refs would call it a touchback (which it was) but noooooo….

  10. SCH says:

    Yes I heard it as well your team has come back now the head coach and special team’s coach is not watching the game and you kick to Ewilson what game are you coaching or watching. SHC make the Adjustment that’s what lacking in SF Wcal the other team’s adjust SF just play hoping the same thing doesn’t happen. The kick was a half yard in the in zone why is the league called the WCAL CATHOLIC MEANT GOD so maybe the league needs to change the nàme to other than. Good to hear nothing personal but it is.Go stripes get it TOGETHER

  11. Scott says:

    I dont know about favortism…however, if you read the comment from another shc student, Harrington had a concussion so he could not practice after Valley Christian. Coaches will generally play their best players, sometimes the best player does not perform as expected. Im sure everyone is trying to get a W. I don’t think their is any special treatment going on as for now.

  12. Anonymous says:

    SHC vs. Mitty… go to the game it’ll be on for the books.

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