By Ryan Kuhn
SAN JOSE — In what could have been his last game in a St. Ignatius uniform, senior tight end Travis McDow made two catches to keep the Wildcats’ season alive.
After the visiting Wildcats gave up a go-ahead touchdown with 1:35 left in the Central Coast Section Division III semifinals against Valley Christian, St.Ignatius quarterback Jack Stinn found McDow for 18-yard score with 30 seconds remaining and also hit McDow on the ensuing two-point conversion to defeat the Warriors 43-42 on Saturday night.
“As a senior, it feels weird when you are put in a position [where] your season could be over and what you are going to do to make it last,” said McDow, who finished with six receptions for 89 yards. “That’s what the mentality was for the whole team and that is what helped us through this.”
After throwing two incompletions to set up a long third down on the game-winning drive, Stinn completed two passes and a broke off a 9-yard run to reach Valley Christian’s 18-yard line.
From there, Stinn said it was all about his receiver.
“I just told Travis to run a corner [route] and it was a perfect catch,” Stinn said. “We’ve had a couple games this year where it has come down to the last drive and this time it feels so good.”
The seventh-seeded Wildcats (5-6-1) led 35-21 to start the fourth quarter, but Valley Christian (6-6) quickly answered with its high-powered rushing attack featuring Byron Marshall, Jarrod Lawson and Ryan Steverson, who each scored a touchdown to give the Warriors 21 unanswered points and the lead.
“Valley Christian is a great team with very good players that are well coached,” said St. Ignatius head coach John Regalia. “They are a very tough team at home and we knew that going in. Even though it was the second time we’ve seen them, we had to make sure we were ready.”
With a chance to tie the game with an extra point and send the game to overtime, Regalia did not hesitate to go for the win with a two-point conversion in the final seconds.
“We had some momentum and we wanted to make sure we kept that momentum and use that momentum,” Regalia said.
The win sets up a City showdown in the CCS title game between age-old rivals St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral, but for McDow, all that matters is continuing to play with shot at winning a championship in his senior season.
“We have to know it’s not over yet,” McDow said. “We play a team in Sacred Heart that we have seen once before, a team that we came out flat against and we have to put in a great week of practice.”
SI: 5:24 — Dom Truoccolo 2-yard run (Michael Capitolo kick good)
VC: 5:03 — Jarrod Lawson 24-yard run (kick failed)
SI: 3:31 — Andrew Vollert 27-yard pass from Jack Stinn (Capitolo kick good)
VC: 10:22 — Ryan Steverson 42-yard run (Bryon Marshall run on conversion)
SI: 6:40 — Mike Pia 19-yard pass from Stinn (Capitolo kick good)
SI: 0:21 — Truoccolo 2-yard run (Capitolo kick good)
VC: 7:07 — Jay Macintyre 63-yard run (Zach Epp kick good)
SI: 0:25 — Stinn 1-yard run (Capitolo kick good)
VC: 8:16 — Marshall 2-yard run (Epp kick good)
VC: 6:52 — Lawson 56-yard run (Epp kick good)
VC: 1:35 — Steverson 53-yard run (Epp kick good)
SI: 0:30 — Travis McDow 18-yard pass from Stinn (McDow pass from Stinn on conversion)