Football: St. Ignatius can’t hold off Marin Catholic in season-opener

St. Ignatius junior running back Elijah Dale breaks through a hole in the Marin Catholic defense on Saturday at Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield. (Photo by Paul Ghiglieri)

By Jeremy Balan

KENTFIELD – For the second season in a row, the St. Ignatius football team let a win over Marin Catholic slip through its fingers, but on Saturday it wasn’t just a figurative description of what happened in Marin County.

The St. Ignatius receiving corps dropped seven passes, two of which resulted in interceptions, and allowed Marin Catholic to score 21 unanswered points in the second half to lose 28-21.

After back-to-back touchdown runs by junior running back Elijah Dale in the third quarter gave St. Ignatius (0-1) a 21-7 lead, the game played out in an eerily-familiar fashion.

A season ago in the Sunset, St. Ignatius held a 20-7 lead over Marin Catholic in the fourth quarter, only to lose 28-26.

“We’ve gotta finish games against the teams in our non-league schedule,” said St. Ignatius head coach John Regalia. “This is the first game of the year, on the road, against a great opponent. There are a lot of tests there.”

St. Ignatius senior quarterback Jack Stinn releases a pass against Marin Catholic on Saturday at Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield. (Photo by Paul Ghiglieri)

In this season’s edition of the non-league rivalry, Cal-bound senior quarterback Jared Goff did just enough to push Marin Catholic (2-0) over the top.

Goff was far from sharp, completing 15-of-31 pass attempts for 325 yards, but he connected when he needed to with devastating results.

Marin Catholic responded to Dale’s 62-yard touchdown run with 5:55 remaining in the third quarter just over a minute later, when Goff hit junior wide receiver Andrew Celis for a 80-yard score to cut the lead to 21-14.

Then, seconds into the fourth quarter, Goff struck again, this time on a 2-yard, fourth-and-goal touchdown pass to Hanley Colton in tight coverage.

The Marin Catholic defense forced a punt on the next St. Ignatius drive and Goff again went to work.

The senior orchestrated a 84-yard, 13-play scoring drive that spanned nearly six minutes of game time. Marin Catholic converted two fourth downs on the drive and it was capped by another touchdown pass to Colton to put Marin Catholic ahead for good.

“We were trying to shrink the game, because they have a great quarterback too,” Marin Catholic head coach Mazi Moayed said of the final drive. “They have these great athletes who can run and catch the ball, and we wanted to limit their chances. We knew it was going to come down to a final possession.”

St. Ignatius got the ball back with 1:35 remaining and drove down to the Marin Catholic 30-yard line, but St. Ignatius quarterback Jack Stinn threw his third interception of the game with 33 seconds remaining to end the threat.

Stinn’s first two interceptions, however, have asterisks.

Both came off dropped balls by St. Ignatius receivers, which bounced directly to Marin Catholic defenders.

Stinn wasn’t sharp either, tallying 243 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-35 passing, but was certainly hampered by the rash of St. Ignatius drops, many of which would have went for big plays.

Marin Catholic didn’t only get good bounces off the hands of St. Ignatius receivers, either. The Marin County powerhouse also recovered three of its own fumbles on balls that bounced directly back to the players that lost them.

“We were fortunate,” Moayed said. “I guess that’s what they mean when they say the ball bounces your way sometimes. Any play can decide that game.”

Dale was one of the bright spots for the St. Ignatius offense and finished with a game-high 114 yards on 14 carries, while senior linebacker Noah Bull was the star of the defense, delivering several jarring hits and a sack of Goff.

Scoring Summary

Second Quarter
SI: 8:51 – Andrew Vollert 22-yard pass from Jack Stinn (Michael Capitolo kick)
MC: 5:45 – Jared Goff 3-yard run (Andrew Celis kick)

Third Quarter
SI: 9:24 – Elijah Dale 2-yard run (Capitolo kick)
SI: 5:55 – Dale 62-yard run (Capitolo kick)
MC: 4:50 – Celis 80-yard pass from Goff (Celis kick)

Fourth Quarter
MC: 11:54 – Colton Hanley 2-yard pass from Goff (Michael Devine kick)
MC: 1:43 – Hanley 20-yard pass from Goff (Devine kick)

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32 Comments

  1. JJ says:

    All SI has to do now is run the table and they will make a regional bowl game. All they have to do is practice catching the football. I think they should try to run more and try to wear down their opponents.

  2. Ari Gold says:

    Run? Running plays are SI ho-hum/ yawn. You got a QB that can throw. Even being “off” Stinn still threw for 243 yards. When do you ever see a SF high school QB throw for 300 yards on a consistent basis? No more running!!! Pass pass pass!

  3. JJ says:

    Historically, SI are usually below these teams: the Bells, St Francis, Valley Christian, Serra, and SI fights with Mitty for 5th place, with SHC or Riordan rounding out the bottom. I think SI has a good shot to beat everyone except maybe Bellarmine and Serra. SI gets a 280 pound lineman once every 10 years, while Im pretty sure Bellarmine has one of those lineman every other year who ends up at San jose State or Reno and sometimes Stanford. Hard to compete with only 210 pound lineman and most of the good football players (1st team WCAL) end up at Cornell or Harvard, not exactly football powerhouses. Whenever SI has at least 1 D1 recruit on the team, they finish near the top of the WCAL, though.

  4. SmoothCriminal says:

    Historically RIORDAN IS THE BEST. If you would like to be historic.

    • JJ says:

      The WCAL is losing its luster as an elite conference in California because they only won 50% of their games this past weekend. SI, Bellarmine, St Francis, and VC all losing in preseason. Historically, the WCAL would’ve went 8-0 or 7-1 in the 1st weekend of the season. I think the WCAL is overrated this year.

    • wcalsf says:

      Historically , Riordan is the only SF WCAL school to win an outright WCAL football title in 2000. Historically, Riordan’s avg margin of victory in its 2007 CCS title run was 21+ points, Historically, Riordan is the only SF school to beat DeLaSalle during the Lad era.

      • JJ says:

        Riordan isn’t as great in football as you think they are. Bellarmine, St Francis, Mitty, Serra And Valley Christian have more WCAL football titles than the yellow and purple. VC only joined the WCAL fairly recently and already passed Riordan in football titles.

        • wcalsf says:

          I’m comparing SF WCAL schools from a historical perspective JJ…

          • JJ says:

            From a historical perspective, in the last 45 years, Riordan is #1 SI #2, and SHC #3 as far as SF WCAL schools, but recent history (within the last 10 years), I think SI reigns supreme as the juggernaut of SF football.

            • wcalsf says:

              I wouldn’t say juggernaut…but agree wit last 10 years. Crusaders on the upswing… Very talented freshman class with many that played on a championship SF Warrior team

              • CrusaderNation says:

                Amen to that. Riordan class of 2016 is ready to make Riordan what it was – a tough competitor who can win. Freshmen beat Burligame 28 – 6, but had 6 TDs called back! The WCAL is still the league to beat so let’s see how the season comes out. WCAL be warned: Riordan is back!!!!

      • IC Stars says:

        They beat DLS at the tail-end of the “crap era” when Lad took over. After that it’s been Spartan blow-outs.

  5. wcalsf says:

    …and tell me when any other SF WCAL team even scheduled DLS? Yeah, I didn’t think so. DLS blew out Riordan 28-0 when Patrck Walsh was there. The Crusaders can never be accused of ducking competition.

    • Kezar for Keeps says:

      Uhhh, did you forget what Riordan’s preseason schedule was this year? If that’s not ducking, I don’t know what is…

  6. wcalsf says:

    Great changes are happening on Phelan Ave. Schedule and quality of Crusader sports is happening!!!

    • Irish Till I Die says:

      Lincoln and mission…really?

      • JJ says:

        I think it’s healthy to schedule those teams, because once the WCAL season starts it could be brutal: @ Bellarmine, @Serra, Mitty, SI, and at St Francis. Tough 5 game stretch right there. Plus, scheduling Lincoln and Mission will increase attendance and ticket sales, although I’m not sure where those funds go to…….maintenance of the fields??

        • IC Stars says:

          It’s amazing that if SHC schedules teams it can beat they’re accused of scheduling “cupcakes”, but if Riordan does it, then all of a sudden it’s a great idea.

          • wcalsf says:

            Correct. New matrix turf field will be in place next season.

          • JJ says:

            I don’t think you can accuse a team as scheduling cupcakes, unless they had a great record, won a title, or won their league the year before. Riordan didn’t win too many games last year, so they fall in this category. If Bellarmine or SI (who won CCS last year) scheduled Marshall or Lowell, then that would be considered scheduling a cupcake. Oregon and USC in college football scheduled cupcakes last week; Alabama did not. With that in mind, I think De La Salle should schedule SHC every year since both are “Christian Brother” schools, but people would say that DLS is scheduling a cupcake.

            • CrusaderNation says:

              i think the WCAL should take a page from the PAC – 12 grow and have a north and south division with the winners facing each other. Add De La Salle, Cardinal Newman, Marin Catholic, Bishop ODowd and Moreau and then there will be no cup cake games – just the best league with the 2 best facing off. Anyone up for this????

              • JJ says:

                The Pac-10 was good the way it was. Adding 2 more teams to make it the Pac-12 watered the conference down. The same will happen if you add those teams that you mentioned (such as Moreau, Cardinal Newman, Marin Catholic, etc), although adding DLS would boost the conference. I think if there was a North and South Division and you added those teams, SI would probably never play Bellarmine in football again unless both get to the championship game because SI would be in the North division and play Cardinal Newman, BOD and MC instead of VC, Mitty and Bellarmine.

              • Ari Gold says:

                It will never happen and if it did SH might as well join petition to join another league for football because theres no way they would be able to compete. Although I think if DLS did join, the stranglehold in WCAL titles by Bellarmine will finally be relinquished.

        • JoJo says:

          I agree with you JJ. It’s good for the City as well.

        • IC Stars says:

          You mean 7 including Sacred Heart Cathedral and Valley Christian.

  7. JJ says:

    SI lost last weekend and we move up in the rankings to #8 in the Bay Area. SHC and Riordan getting no respect, still not ranked. Serra moves past Bellarmine in the rankings. The Padres look like the team to beat in the WCAL. Serra ranked #5, The Bells #6.

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