By Lamonte Dewindt
PACIFICA – Terra Nova High School’s football team found itself in a position all too familiar to its coaches and fans of the past few years.
The Tigers fell to Sacred Heart Cathedral 30-14 on Friday night, the third straight year Terra Nova has lost to the Irish in its season opener.
Sacred Heart senior quarterback Jerry Peralta led the Irish offensively with 244 yards and three touchdowns on 8-of-16 passing. Peralta also ran for 53 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, and his elusiveness in the pocket led to numerous first downs for the Irish.
“We came out and threw the ball exceptionally well,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee. “Jerry Peralta did a fantastic job [and] we ran the ball when we needed to.”
The Irish (1-0) were clicking on all cylinders offensively early and scored on their first possession of the game with a 55-yard pass from Peralta to senior Mat Hewitson just three minutes into the game.
Sacred Heart struck again in the first quarter after the Tigers (0-1) fumbled the ball on their sixth play of the game, which led to another 34-yard touchdown strike from Peralta to Hewtison.
The Irish built a 27-0 lead in the second quarter before Terra Nova ever struck back.
The Terra Nova offense struggled to find its way for most of the game, as numerous miscues hampered the Tigers from finding any rhythm.
“This, as much as we work, is pretty typical start for us,” said Terra Nova head coach Bill Gray. “We play [West Catholic Athletic League] schools, good teams from out of the area, and I think it’s been seven or eight years and we’ve only won one opener.”
Running back Tanner Piccolotti lead the Terra Nova attack with 148 rushing yards on 17 carries and was a workhorse in the backfield, breaking numerous Irish tackles to gain extra yards.
But Terra Nova had three turnovers, two off of interceptions thrown by senior quarterback K’Ren Spain. Spain ended the game with 236 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-42 passing, but the Tigers could not erase the early deficit.
SH: 9:36 – Matthew Hewtison 55-yard pass from Jerry Peralta (kick blocked)
SH: 2:24 – Hewtison 33-yard pass from Peralta (Maxwell Tenhoff kick)
SH: 9:45 – Peralta 1-yard run (Tenhoff kick)
SH: 1:28 – William O’Driscoll 9-yard pass from Peralta (Tenhoff kick)
TN: 0:17 – Jaylend Jones 7-yard pass from K’Ren Spain (Carlos Grande kick)
TN: 0:01 – Tanner Piccolotti 7-yard pass from Spain (Grande Kick)
SH: 2:10 – Tenhoff 25-yard field goal