Football: Sacred Heart Cathedral’s offense stalls in loss to Campolindo

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior quarterback Jerry Peralta breaks through the Campolindo defensive line on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Tawnya Gray)

By Jeremy Balan

Unlike its opener against Terra Nova, the Sacred Heart Cathedral football team did not get out to a quick start against Campolindo.

The Irish offense never really got started at all.

Other than a 50-yard touchdown run by Sacred Heart senior quarterback Jerry Peralta, the Irish offense struggled to move the ball and only gained 222 total yards in a 28-7 loss to visiting Campolindo on Friday at Kezar Stadium.

Campolindo senior quarterback Brett Stephens slips past a Sacred Heart Cathedral defender on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Tawnya Gray)

“We couldn’t find the ground game and our passing game wasn’t what it was last week,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee. “It’s frustrating. The offense was not clicking.”

Peralta’s touchdown run with 5:42 remaining in the third quarter tied the game up at 7-7, and it was a picture-perfect display of the read option.

Out of the shotgun, Peralta faked a handoff to running back Mike Wallace and the entire Campolindo defensive line and almost all linebackers tackled the tailback. Peralta slipped untouched through a gaping hole on the left hash mark and beat the Cougars defense to the goal line.

But that was as good as it would get for the Irish (1-1) and Peralta, who ran for 87 yards on 16 carries but only threw for 25 yards on 3-of-13 passing. In a quarterback platoon with sophomore Logan White, the pair threw for 43 total yards on 5-of-23 passing.

“We need to go back to the drawing board,” Lee said of the Irish offense. “We work on those individual things in practice, but we need to put them into action. Last week, we did. Tonight, we didn’t.”

After holding down standout Campolindo quarterback Brett Stephens for most of the first half, the senior got into a groove after Peralta’s tying score and the Cougars scored 21 unanswered points to end the game.

Stephens threw for 99 yards and had an interception on 7-of-16 passing in the first half, but the Cougars (3-0) changed up their game plan in the second and it paid off.

With a renewed focus on the run, Stephens settled in and threw for 116 yards on 6-of-9 passing in the second half, including two touchdown passes to junior tight end Justin Dunn.

“We had to eventually change what we were doing,” said Campolindo head coach Kevin Macy. “Our receivers are so young and inexperienced, and that brought some frustration for Brett [in the first half]. We had to stabilize the game a little bit and then look for our opportunities to throw.”

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior running back Brett Rasso turns the corner against Campolindo on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Tawnya Gray)

Stephens also ran for two touchdowns and preyed on an Irish defense that was visibly tired in the second half.

With so many Irish playing both offense and defense, Sacred Heart’s margin of error is slim. Against Terra Nova, the Irish had a 27-point cushion before fatigue set in, but they weren’t so lucky against Campolindo.

One of those two-way starters is junior Brett Rasso, who was the best offensive player for the Irish on Friday night. Rasso ran for a game-high 93 yards on 11 carries and had a reception for 8 yards, but Lee stressed the importance of getting the junior more involved.

“We know that [we need to get him the ball more],” Lee said. “I’m frustrated as heck right now, because we saw him open on a few routes and we weren’t getting the ball to him.”

Scoring Summary

Second Quarter
C: 2:17 – Brett Stephens 9-yard run (Cristian Antezana kick)

Third Quarter
SH: 5:42 – Jerry Peralta 50-yard run (Maxwell Tenhoff kick)
C: 1:05 – Stephens 1-yard run (Antezana kick)

Fourth Quarter
C: 8:43 – Justin Dunn 30-yard pass from Stephens (Antezana kick)
C: 6:27 – Dunn 34-yard pass from Stephens (Antezana kick)

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  1. JJ says:

    I guess Peralta is #7 this year, not #15 anymore. Another tough game next week vs Bishop O’Dowd. SHC should’ve scheduled WASH instead.

    • in the know says:

      schedule wash? for what? an easy win? to be the best you must play the best. playing eay teams and winning because of it isnt a real win. Thats taking the easy way out. They need to play these ranked team to be challenged and it also gives them CCS points for any type of hope to get into the playoffs.

      People really shouldn’t comment unless they know what they are taking about…

  2. IC Stars says:

    Irish had two momentum killers. One was the center snapping the ball past the quarterback when he wasn’t ready and the other was Campo making a lucky pass when SHC had them deep in their own end.

    • CJT says:

      Why do you say Campo had a lucky pass? That’s just sour grapes. SHC played a tough game, but they didn’t have the depth and got tired. that’s what happens when kids have to go both ways. While several Campo kids also go both ways they just wore SHC down.

  3. turtle says:

    only 222 yards all night. It seems like the offence is has been non productive in the last 6 quarters. maybe we need to throw it deep like last week. the run up the middle will only take us so far. where was the big plays last night.

  4. the truth says:

    poor program numbers on lower levels result in lack of depth on the varsity. lack of depth means wearing dowm in the second half. thats why the last six qts have been dismal. good teams (campo) limit big plays, there was one big play last night, a 50 yard run.

    so that means really only 170 yards of offense in 4qts other than that one play.

    • IC Stars says:

      By that logic, you shouldn’t count Camplindo’s big plays either. Take away the 40 yard pass from deep in their own end. Take away another TD strike later in the game. Irish didn’t wear down so much as they lost momentum through unforced errors like personal fouls and the center snapping the ball past the QB when he wasn’t ready. If you were there, you would have seen this as a winnable game. However the team certainly needs more players.

      • CJT says:

        Everything you say is reasonable, except the “winnable game” part. There was no way SHC was going to win that game. Campo has too many good athletes.

        • IC Stars says:

          No, it was winnable. Irish just lost their momentum due to unforced errors and big plays by Campo. Do you think this year’s or last year’s team is better?

          • CJT says:

            As of right now, on paper, last year’s Campo team was better. However, remember that last year’s team was picked to finish last in their league. At this point in last year’s season no one knew what kind of team we had on our hands. This coming week will be a huge test for Campo against El Cerrito. Last year the El Cerrrito game defined the Campo year and was the first step in solidifying the team that made a State run. Good luck to the Irish on the rest of their year. BTW, my dad graduated from SH back in the day so I have always been a fan.

            • IC Stars says:

              I think Campo will beat EC. I saw last year’s frosh game with SHC. They’ll be making some noise for the next few seasons at least.

      • Lance says:

        Yeah. Take away the 50 points there going to give up to the Bells and its a winnable game.

  5. Chris says:

    I agree with everything you said IC stars..Let us not forget that Camplindo High football is ranked in the top ten as well. It would have been quite a win for the IRISH if they pulled it off and won. I thought the kids played tough, the Defense held for almost 3 quarters. Almost isn’t good enough, I understand. I do not expect miracles but asl ong as SHC football is doing the best it can with what it has, I will keep my support for the school and the program. Also, most of the city schools are not pulling in large squads for football, with the exception of SI with the great facilities to brag about, so it is not just SHC. As a parent and alum, hopefully, one of my kids can be a star in the city:)

    • IC Stars says:

      I was surprised at the tiny Campo crowd. After winning a championship and having a 16-game winning streak, you’d think those Moraga types could afford a BART ticket and street car to the stadium. In 1994 and again in 2005 I managed to see every varsity game those years. Not sure how the Frosh will look but I’ll see them this coming Saturday.

      • wcal says:

        IC, did you consider that maybe they didn’t want to experience a BART ride on a foul smelling BART train, waiting or walking around smelly beggars, aggressive panhandlers and homeless people aka bums at 10-11 at night while they wait for a muni bus or train to get home?
        Take the butt kicking like a man and leave the snarky comments for the SHC fans attendance issue at the basketball games.

        • CJT says:

          Those people that wanted to be there, were there. Those that didn’t go missed a hard fought game. It was a fun game to watch at a great venue that brings me back to my youth……John Broadie and Gene Washington.


        • IC Stars says:

          Please. I’ve ridden BART thousands of times since it started so I know how to ride it. Confidence is the key if you’re an experienced rider.

  6. Cougar Pride says:

    I believe the “tiny Campo crowd” still outnumbered the Irish at both the JV and varsity games at Kezar. Wish we had a Kezar Pub right across the street from Campo’s football stadium!

  7. IC Stars says:

    No they didn’t, but wouldn’t you expect better attendance from a team that just won a title?

  8. JJ says:

    SHC and Campilindo have about the same student enrollment. The game was on a Friday night, so I doubt Moraga-types would be comfortable taking BART then Muni to Kezar stadium in a neighborhood full of hippies and sketchy people. I would be more worried about winning games then how many fans of the opposing team showed up.

    • IC Stars says:

      If you know the area at all, you wouldn’t be around any hippies and sketchy people unless you went to that McDonald’s or Amoeba Records. YOU “worry” about winning games.

  9. JJ says:

    If SI ever played Campolindo in Moraga, rest assured, I would never take public transportation to the game for the simple fact that I may get lost by taking the wrong bus and maybe get mugged at 11pm. I’ve heard stories where criminals snatch BART passenger’s iPhones and laptop bags and flee the train. I would drive, so I assume the Campo faithful would do the same.

  10. YD13 says:

    Really? We’re arguing about crowd size and PT safety? I thought this thread was about a football game… Adults make me laugh

    • IC Stars says:

      OK, let’s talk about the taco trucks at the game too.

      • jbalan says:

        I approve highly of the taco truck. I had three carne asada tacos and they were excellent. I hope it becomes a trend.

        • IC Stars says:

          I REALLY approve of the new scoreboards that I can read clearly. The only thing missing is the football light showing who has the ball.

          • Ari Gold says:

            I thought it was a fun in itself to guess the score and time with the missing/blown out lightbulbs in the scoreboard. It gave Kezar its rustic feel. Next thing you know they will replace the dirt in the tunnel with rubber carpet.

            I learned very fast if you are coming in or out of the tunnel for pregame, halftime and end of game, if you dont want to be choking on a dust storm of dirt, its best to be ahead of the pack.

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