Football: Sacred Heart Cathedral loses late lead in overtime loss to Bishop O’Dowd

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior running back Brett Rasso breaks away from the Bishop O’Dowd defense on Friday at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

OAKLAND – Sacred Heart Cathedral sophomore kicker Maxwell Tenhoff’s first field goal in overtime sailed easily through the uprights, but it was accompanied by a high-pitched whistle coming from the Bishop O’Dowd sideline.

The Dragons called a timeout just before the ball was snapped and the 21-yard kick that would have tied the non-league matchup at 30-30 was waved off.

But the Dragons weren’t icing the young kicker. They were making adjustments.

After the timeout, O’Dowd loaded the left side of the line of scrimmage, and the new alignment paid off.

O’Dowd senior Dominic Gomes broke into the Irish backfield untouched, dove toward the ball and blocked Tenhoff’s second kick as it left the sophomore’s foot, sealing a 30-27 O’Dowd victory on Friday.

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior quarterback Jerry Peralta splits a pair of Bishop O’Dowd defenders on Friday at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. (Photo by Doug Ko)

“They had blocked an extra point earlier and our sideline was yelling, ‘overload, overload,'” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee. “They made the play when they needed to, but we were in the driver’s seat to put the game away.”

O’Dowd kicker Eric Schwartz put the Dragons (3-1) up with a 26-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime before the dramatic finish, but the Irish (1-2) were in control late into the fourth quarter.

Despite being outgained 429-267, Sacred Heart held a two-touchdown lead until the 4:59 mark of the fourth quarter, when Gomes caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from O’Dowd quarterback Dominic Miroglio to cut the Irish lead to 27-20.

Sacred Heart then went three-and-out on the next drive, and O’Dowd’s other quarterback, Kevin King, connected with Jelani Baines for a 37-yard score to tie the game with 1:53 remaining.

With plenty of time to drive down the field for a game-winning score, Sacred Heart advanced as far as the O’Dowd 35-yard line, but a fourth-down pass from Irish quarterback Jerry Peralta to fellow senior Matt Hewitson fell incomplete to end the drive. Unfortunately, the play had deeper consequences than the result on Friday night.

Peralta found Hewitson open over an O’Dowd linebacker, but slightly overthrew him. Hewitson dove for the ball and caught it in the air, but came down on top of the ball with the full force of his body, causing it to squirt out of his hands. Hewitson then left the field in immense pain.

“That throw to Matt — he came down on it and the trainers said he broke his collar bone,” Lee said. “So, it sounds like Matt is done for the year. My heart goes out to him, because of how hard he worked in the offseason. The trainers think it’s a break, but I’m going to hope it’s a strain. He needs to go to the doctor to find out.”

That was the closest Peralta would come to a completed pass in the second half, as the Irish attempted just five passes in the final 24 minutes and completed none.

Peralta was effective on the ground, however, and ran for a team-high 135 yards on 22 carries. Fifteen of those carries came in the second half and he ran on all three offensive plays in Sacred Heart’s overtime possession, but only got to the O’Dowd 4-yard line, setting up the final play.

Even though the Irish ran 27 run plays in the second half and didn’t take a shot at the end zone through the air during the overtime possession, Lee said his play calling was not conservative.

“The critics can say all they want, and I enjoy that, because it’s usually from people who don’t know the game,” Lee said. “I don’t think it was [conservative]. We came out and made our adjustments and talked, as a staff, about what we wanted to do. We had our opportunities to throw the ball and we didn’t capitalize.”

Bishop O’Dowd kicker Eric Schwartz connects with the game-winning field goal against Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. (Photo by Doug Ko)

Peralta racked up the most yards, but there was no doubt who the best player on the field was for the Irish.

Junior Brett Rasso ran for 96 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, consistently gave the Irish tremendous field position with punt and kick returns, and made what appeared to be the play of the game early in the fourth quarter.

After Rasso’s third score of the game on a 30-yard run that gave the Irish a 27-14 lead, the Dragons drove down to the Sacred Heart 5-yard line. O’Dowd running back Isaiah Johnson, who ran for a game-high 136 yards on 26 carries, plowed forward to the Irish 1-yard line, but Rasso stripped the senior, and without the ball hitting the ground, returned the fumble to midfield.

After his final score, however, Rasso touched the ball on offense just three times in the fourth quarter and the Dragons scored 16 unanswered points to win the game. The Irish only had 105 yards of total offense in the second half.

“We kept giving the ball back to a very good football team,” Lee said. “It was complacency and that’s something we address every day – that mental toughness. You can’t win a game in the first, second or third quarter, you have to play four quarters of football. Once again, we played three.”

The nagging issues of depth and fatigue again hurt the Irish late in a game, as Rasso and seven other starters play both offense and defense.

“It’s going to happen,” Lee said of Sacred Heart’s fatigue late in games. “If you look at our skill guys, they all go both ways. Out of 34 [players], we dressed 31. Then we have two key injuries and we’re down to 29.”

The blocked field goal ended the game, but just seven plays before, both teams considered finishing without a winner.

On the first play of overtime, King, who took occasional snaps at quarterback, ran for a 3-yard gain, but was hit hard and fumbled the ball. The Dragons recovered the fumble, but King remained motionless on the turf for almost 20 minutes following the play.

King eventually got back on his feet with help from trainers and was taken off the field in a cart, and both teams agreed to finish the game.

“The original indication was that they were going to call [the game],” Lee said. “Their athletic director felt that the injury sustained by [King] was so severe that they were going to call it. I was fine with that. They thought the injury was a lot worse than it was, then the kid sat up.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
BOD: 11:44 – Wayne Thomas 95-yard kick return (Eric Schwartz kick)
SHC: 6:06 – Brett Rasso 14-yard run (Maxwell Tenhoff kick)
SHC: 1:24 – Jerry Peralta 10-yard run (Tenhoff kick)

Second Quarter
SHC: 0:35 – Rasso 6-yard run (kick blocked)
BOD: 0:02 – Thomas 40-yard pass from Dominic Miroglio (Schwartz kick)

Third Quarter
SHC: 1:48 – Rasso 30-yard run (Tenhoff kick)

Fourth Quarter
BOD: 4:59 – Dominic Gomes 34-yard pass from Miroglio (kick blocked)
BOD: 1:53 – Jelani Baines 37-yard pass from Kevin King (Schwartz kick)

Overtime
BOD: Schwartz 26-yard field goal

Be Sociable, Share!

70 Comments

  1. JJ says:

    Playing Saturday morning QB, but SHC should’ve went for it in overtime, instead of trying for a FG. I always thought you go for the win on the road and play for the tie if u are the home team. They went for it on 4th and 4 or 5 when one of their better players got hurt diving for the ball, so why didn’t they go for it in OT? At any rate, it seemed like 2 evenly matched teams, but Valley Christian beat them by 3 TD’s a week and VC was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the WCAL. The Riordan vs SHC game should be a barn-burner. For the Bruce-Mahoney game, I think SI should win handily (unless Stinn keeps throwing 4 INT’s a gm) because I don’t really think alot of SI’s players play 2-ways, other than Watters, but he rarely played on the offensive end like maybe 1 carry a game. As a result, SI should be fresh when the 4th quarter rolls around, while SHC will be cramping all over the field like last night’s gm.

  2. Chris says:

    Good game. Rasso is a stud. With the BYE, bring up a 3-4 more JV’s to help the line and team. They will have to start developing them early. Sorry, the Frosh will have to move up too to JV. All the guys are tired and cramping, you can see it on the sideline. With Hewitson gone, lots of guys will have to step up to get 2-3 wins in the WCAL schedule, if they are lucky. But a nice game, Irish did the best they could with what they had. Kids fought hard.

    • Lance says:

      Irish 2 or 3 wins in WCAL. Not going to happen.

      • ChrisP says:

        If they can beat St. Francis, SI, and Riordan, that can happen. St. Francis is down this year, SI will be a fight, anyway you look at it. Riordan should be winnable as well as long as everyone is healthy.

        • Lance says:

          Saint Francis may be down but they still play a caliber of football that the Irish can’t compete with. The southern WCAL is a whole different universe for the 3 SF WCAL teams.

          • IC Stars says:

            You mean like in 2008 with Kevin Greene and his seven sacks?

            • Lance says:

              Anyone can Cheery pick a game from the past. The fact remains the Irish have been the doormat of the WCAL for years.

              • IC Stars says:

                That’s a great game to pick. Back to the WCAL, beat St. Francis for the first time ever and grab a trophy for the first outright championship after 115 years of football.

  3. Big guy 24 says:

    Good game and the SHC kids fought there butts off, good effort and keep working hard kids. Brett Rasso is a smart and good running back. I felt he should have been the starting RB his frosh year but he never got a fair chance to play running back. He ran the ball in pop warner and was good. Keep working hard irish and good things will happen and it builds character to never quit…Go Irish!!

  4. TM76 says:

    I agree with the need to move up some JV players to help bolster the roster. Would have like to see Rasso get more carries in the 4th quarter and overtime, I think the outcome would have been in SH’s favor.. With Hewittson going down the Irish are going to need someone to step up at wide receiver or the running game is going to suffer with 8 to 9 guys in the box on every play trying to shut them down. It’s unfortunate that so many players have to play both ways. Depth will be issue as they get into WCAL league play. Good luck young men.

    • IC Stars says:

      The JV’s would be depleted if they brought up too many people. I saw the Frosh game today against Campolindo. They have about 38 players and in spite of the 23-6 score they played some good defense and were able to move the ball but made some unforced errors liked dropped wide-open passes. They were definitely better than last year’s team. Still, they have to get their numbers up. There’s another Jamar Sheppard on this team. He had a 55-yard TD late in the game.

      • wcalsf says:

        Didn’t know the turnout was also small for the Irish Frosh. I understand both SI and Riordan have 60+ on the Frosh rosters. Crusader Frosh play tomorrow because of a sched mixup with San Mateo. They have at least 4 rbs that can take it to the house at any time. One should be a special player in years to come.

        • Chris says:

          Well, the varsity have to bring up some guys, these 30 guys are good but they need at least 3-5 more guys to rotate the guys in Offense or Defense to give the guys more rest to be be fresher for the next set of downs. I guess that means some freshman will have to move up to Jvs as well. The freshman will get to play a game soon against Sequoia next week so Im sure we will see how they look.

      • Irishi Italian says:

        IC

        That was Campolindo’s 3rd game and they had a scrimmage before that. This was SHC freshman’s first game without a scrimmage. Also 2 of their top players were out for this game with minor injuries and will be back this week. The coaching staff treated this game as a scrimmage giving several backups opportunity to play. lot of potential on this team.

        • IC Stars says:

          I did notice maybe 4 players not suited-up. They were definitely better than last year’s team but I still don’t see why we can’t get more players out there.

  5. The truth says:

    So let me get this straight. Bring up 3 or 4 jv players from a team of 20-25 and plug them in on the varsity which would give them 33-34. Wouldn’t they be up if the were ready to play varsity. It says a sophmore is the kicker.

    The question is why the low numbers? Enrollment isnt down. Based on the numbers you have said the frosh team has that would mean the program is under 100 players. The other article said Riordan had 80 freshman alone.

    If they are wearing down and fatigued late in games in the Pre-season whats going to happen in league play.

    Again, why are the numbers so low?

    • Chris says:

      Im sure there are lots of reasons for why the numbers are low in football. No field, etc. I am not saying all those jv players are ready to play varsity, but some will be forced into the limelight. Just like the Jvs will have to take from the freshman. The school will probably have to make a concerted effort to market football soon, but SH does not traditionally do this, only for basketball and volleyball. But having said this, the football team isn’t bad, just low numbers for now. I have seen worse football teams when I went there in the 80s. SHC will beat Riordan this year.

      • Chris says:

        Don’t know, but for sure Logan White will be starting more, Peralta will be used as a receiver, rusher, QB, punter. We will see how Logan does and if he can be a sophomore for the year in WCAL?

      • IC Stars says:

        I don’t think they can use the “no field” excuse after having won a CCS title and having two undefeated seasons in ’96 and ’97. They have to promote football more. I don’t know why they can’t use the parks nearby or Kimbell Field nearby for practice. We have Kezar for our home field and who doesn’t like to go there?

  6. Turtle says:

    I would have liked to see Rasso get the ball in over time. I agree with JJ, I think coach Lee played not to lose instead of to win. Looks like a long season without Hewitson.

    • JJ says:

      According to the article, Coach Lee said that his play calling wasn’t conservative, but I think his play calling for 2nd and 3rd down in OT was 2 QB runs up the middle for 2 yard gains. Whenever Rasso ran the ball, he broke 2 to 5 tackles, but, zero touches in OT? Rasso is the MVP on SHC, yet no touches in OT. SHC actually deserved to lose after they gave up that 50 yard bomb with 2 secs left in the 1st half. Also, Hewitson probably wouldn’t have gotten injured if SHC took him out of the game for a couple series, after cramping up 3x in the game.

  7. Legato says:

    What about moving Jerry to wideout & giving Logan White a shot? Seems they could then develop the passing game using Jerry (he’s quick & tough as nails), Rasso out of the backfield & O’Driscoll (this kid has good hands & can run decent routes). Rasso is quite a running threat & would be even more if there was any semblance of a passing attack.
    I don’t know the reason numbers are so low but moving players up to varsity from JV & frosh up to JV has got to happen. Think it’s becoming a bit of a player safety issue.
    All that said, they sure play hard & have great heart! Go Irish!

    • JJ says:

      If SHC moves up JV players to varsity, then the SHC JV’s will lose all their games by blowouts.

      • Chris says:

        The Jvs are pretty much getting blown up now. But the program will have to move forward this way. 30 Guys on varsity is not enough to play against WCAL squads for the season. I think the smart thing to do is salvage what you can and bring up 5 guys from Jvs, there are 2-3 juniors already in the jv team. Move the most promising members from frosh to Jvs. Start promoting football more for the class of 2017/2018 to bring in better quality and numbers for the entire program. But the guys they have are decent on varsity just need more rest.

      • Lance says:

        Sacrifices have to be made mister.

  8. Ari Gold says:

    With the loss of Matt Hewitson for the season, Im going to say a thousand Our Fathers for Brett Rasso. Because God knows John Lee will follow Frank Lee’s strategy and continuously give the ball to Rasso with 8, 9 men in the box over and over again because Peralta cant throw or has no one to throw to and Lee has mush for brains.

    The Lee’s punish their own. Frank Lee, 1993 or 1994, took Christon Rance and ran him 99% of the time. Dives, draws, traps, tosses against Riordan. Riordan licked their chops. Pounded him, beat him up, make his eyes welled up. He cried, no joke. Because the Lee’s just kept running him like a dead horse and Riordan knew what was coming. This is the same lineage of coaching that is on the sidelines calling the plays today.

    So dont be surprised to see poor Brett Rasso beaten and battered like a dead horse after games in the WCAL. Hopefully he makes it out in one piece.

    Do everyone a favor John Lee and put Jerry at WR and put White at QB. You cant just have a running game, especially when everyone knows youre going to run it.

    Lastly, thank goodness you arent going to the Rose Bowl this year with USC losing. We all know you did nothing to “coach” Kevin Greene. The guy was a natural athlete that had the seek and destroy order and with his size and speed, he was unstoppable. But of course you dont need guys that are 6’5 240 lbs on your team. …. Ridiculous.

    • in the know says:

      So if Brett Rasso isn’t given the ball,then it’s why didn’t Lee have Peralta give Rasso the ball? Sounds like either way Coach Lee is wrong. Giving Desarte Yarnwayand Tino Miles the ball everytime worked quite well didn’t it? It’s a no brainer.

      As far as Kevin Greene goes, in his eyes he was basketball player, not a football player. Coach Lee finally convinced him to play football his JUNIOR year!! He has gotten a full scholarship at USC!! That would not have happeeed if he stuck to basketball. He is now getting his Masters degree, on his football schoalarship. All of these accomplishments would not have been possible without his athletic abliity. You talk alot of smack about Coach Lee, a person you obviously don’t know very well. His is not just coaching football, he is building men. Is he an easy man, no. But he sure as hell isn’t gonna kiss a kids ass either. He is a love him or hate him kind of man. There is no in between.
      Where do you coach Ari Gold? Just wondering since you know so much?

      • Ari Gold says:

        Im sure the O-line is trying as best they can but you cant compare this season’s line to lines that Yarnway, Miles, Zack Rance, Jermaine Sheppard had.

        If you have a very good (very big or avg 210-230lbs) line which you flip them to D-line because most play both sides of the ball, you will likely dominate the game. Size matters more than speed here. This year SH has neither size or speed. \

        To answer the Peralta question, if they run the read option, its actually Jerry’s choice to give the ball up to Rasso or not. So in the end, both those guys are going to get beat up because Lee will call 3 straight read options, maybe even 6 straight.

        Youre right based on comments here and there, people love or hate him but looks like there are more that hate him, hence the # of players that he fields or want to play for him. Those #s dont lie.

        I dont coach. Im the arm chair QB so of course you can go with the “you dont know because you dont or never coached before” rebuttal. Ive just been and seen this regime for over 20+ years. Its the same thing. I love Tim Burke & Coach P. They are great teachers, but SHC has achieved so much when finally moving on from the old guard by bringing on Darrell Barbour. Football, perhaps will see better results if they followed the same path.

  9. Pablo says:

    Wow! What a loss! A great crowd travelled to BO’D on Friday night to be treated to a very courageous effort by a small undersized Irish team full of heart. Hats off to coach Mac for what he has done with the Irish defense over the past few years, he has taken a bunch of smaller but speedy sure handed tacklers all proven Golden Gate Rugby players, these kids are playing great defense but alas they cannot be expected to create miracles! The offense was so boring and predicable, I saw Jerry throw a lot of great passes against Tera Nova two weeks ago, what was with all the pointless running when it was obvious that O’Dowd had us figured out? I turned to the person next to me with six minutes to go in the game, we had 4th and 2 on the O’Dowd 40 ! A gutless call to punt! When we could have put the game away (the punt netted 9 “yards”) oh so familiar, I have been watching the same gutless rubbish for the past number of years. I am a coach myself and I hate to critize other coaches but my god there comes a time when you have to look yourselves in the mirrior and say man this is not good, I need to hand over the reins! Coach Lee as much as I admire you and all you have done for the program the time has come for you to move a long, your old fashioned “Dictator” style of coaching is taken our proud program down. People don’t forget we had 42 freshmen come out last year of wich less than half returned! This nonsense of expecting teenagers to get out of bed as early as 5:30 in some cases to attend mandatory practices during the summer months is completely ridiculous. The boys could so easily practice from 4 to 6 or 5 to 7 in the evenings, excuses in the past, summer camps at the field, rubbish these are all finished by 3:30 and yes it builds character! Garbage less than half came back this year. If we continue on this path we will not field a team in the near future! Don’t try and say we don’t have the numbers or athletes we have plenty! But these boys are getting sence and sticking to sports like Rugby and Soccer where sucsees is a lot more probable. While I am vetting! Our two AD’ s are completely useless and if we are to move forward with sucsees put them two out where they belong! Pasture, bring on a proven coach a winner someone like Kenny Peralta?

    • ChrisP says:

      Pablo and Ari, you make some valid points. John Lee does usually gets the best out of his players. However, his play calling is very conservative or downright predictable, I think they could at least given the ball to Rasso to try to score once instead of letting Peralta run left 3 times on keepers, I mentioned in an earlier post, in the third quarter, they had a beautiful screen play set up, but the player couldn’t hold on to the ball, they could have tried that one more time, right? Also, on the internet radio, Lee said they kept going left because the kicker does his best work from that angle so they wanted to make sure he could kick it in. That may have been the case, but you could go left with some other players besides Peralta, right? I do not know about the AD’s so I won’t comment but they have the right coaches in some of the other sports. Maybe, John Lee can step down and coach Jvs while they hire a DLS assistant or someone else to give the program a new face. I do admire John Lee because he has given his life to IRISH football, but I never said I liked his play calling. You got a young stud named Logan White with a rifle, let him air it out! I also agree Pablo that with 42 freshman coming out and only having 25 returning to play as sophs, speaks that program may need some changes.

    • in the know says:

      I agree the low numbers are not a good sign. The early morning practices are a must. With the toxic AAU basketball always having practices and games in the afternoon and evenings, the kids are split with basketball which is unacceptable. Football is the next sport, which should take precedent. Lots of kids play Summer baseball too. The priorities of kids are mixed up. They want to show up in august and play, which is not going to work. The bottomline is if a kid wants to play, he will play. Kids dont apply to schools for the “coach”. Academics are first. Plus in SF with only three Catholic schools they will go whereever they get into. This isnt’t the 70’s 80’s and 90’s when you applied to one school and got in. Times have changed.

      The AD’s need to be replaced ASAP. They are at the top. They are both extremly weak, spineless. None of the coaches respect them. If they get replaced, i foresee a great changes.

      As far as a DLS assistant, you all need to keep on dreaming! Get DLS out of your heads. That will never happen. They have everything, and arent gonna take a step down. Thats reality.

  10. JJ says:

    Greene hardly plays. He didn’t even touch the field vs. Stanford. Yarnway won’t get any PT either at CAL after that Bigelow guy showed off his speed.

    • in the know says:

      Yarnway got injured first two years. Even though they haven’t played much, these great kids are getting college degrees from phenominal schools.THAT cannot be taken away from them. It’s sad that people lose sight of the postive. These families could not have afforded these tuitions, but their atheltic abililties got it for them. Play or not. They will be successfull young men and a contributing part of society. They also dont forget where they came from. They return to SH to see their coaches, teachers, weight coach. Kevin still wears his SH football shorts to USC football pracftice. They are priceless.

      • JJ says:

        If u look at USC’s depth chart, K. Greene is 3rd string. Only 3 career tackles at USC. He.should’ve transferred to a different school like Penn State or CAL in order to show the pro scouts what he’s made of. Or, he should change his position to tight end. All that talent just sitting on the sidelines. It’s like Brett Rasso not the starting RB in his freshman year or Michael Jordan cut from varsity.

        • IC Stars says:

          I hope your kidding about Penn State but but you’re right about him otherwise. He’s really giving it an effort from what I hear.

          I sure wish Yarnway would heal up. He’s as good as anyone out there.

        • Ari Gold says:

          Unless Kevin thought he has a legitimate chance of making the NFL, then sure, go to a school that plays you. I will go out on a limb and say that Kevin chose USC for the education, location, and experience. He’s having a great time and probably would not do it over again if given the chance. I mean come on people, we are talking about US-freakin-C… Have you ever been on campus? The football players from Matt Barkley down to the last scholarship player are looked upon like royalty there.

          Any SF high school athlete that made it to the next level on an athletic scholarship will assuredly put that opportunity to work and get the best education possible which leads to a career they can be proud of.

          Certainly if they are fortunate like Jason Hill, Donald Strickland, Eric Wright, Igor Olshansky, Bobby Shaw, just to name a few off the top of my head, to make it to the professional level, we can all be proud of our home grown talent.

          I dont think anyone can ever put down anybody for making it that far, to where 99% of us only dream of making it. Very proud of Kevin Greene, Jerry Brown, Tierra Rogers, Kishawna Moore, Josh Fox, Taylor Johns, etc for representing SH well on the next level.

  11. Big guy 24 says:

    SHC needs a frosh coach cause Frank Lee makes kids not want to play, I hear lots of kids call him the no fun coach. Kids feel he is boring and doesn’t know talent very well. When Brett Rasso was a freshman they had over 53 kids play football with a good class and talent. They had athlete’s and a good QB with a strong arm and yet never threw the ball and Rasso never got to run the ball. Next year over 24 kids quit and wanted nothing to do with SHC football. I heard kids last year say its boring and no fun and he can’t be teaching very well cause all they do is lose. Time to change some coaches Irish.

  12. Chris says:

    That is sad. With 53 players on a freshman team down and almost half quit?? This does prove that something is wrong with the football program and explains the small numbers on varsity. Yes, changes and tweaks should be made.

  13. Ari Gold says:

    Jeremy Balan, you have seen a good number of SHC football games in the last 3 years. Please put on your Scott Ostler / Bruce Jenkins hat on and share some commentary on the coaching, play calling, perhaps even a letter grade on how John Lee is doing as SHC football coach.

    • jbalan says:

      I don’t know that it is my place to publicly speak to the last topic you brought up. I have been at a lot of games, but I certainly don’t have the information necessary to grade John Lee from a program standpoint. I see what happens on the field, but can’t speak to the other factors people are bringing up in these comments (numbers, players leaving after their freshman year, etc.)

      A lot of the issues with play calling, I think, has to do with a team that is a bit in flux. The identity of the teams from the past two seasons has been so defined, I’m not sure this team has found a rock-solid identity yet on offense (on defense, I think they have).

      The numbers are certainly an issue, as I have seen the team visibly get tired the last two weeks. The read-option was working tremendously early in the game against Bishop O’Dowd, but wasn’t working late. That could be attributed to Bishop O’Dowd making adjustments, but I would say a lot had to do with fatigue.

      There are also mixed messages from some of the commenters on this site. A lot of people are saying to involve Brett Rasso more, while others are saying they don’t want him to get beat up. You can’t have both.

      From a media standpoint, I’m a big fan of John Lee and frankly, all of the football coaches in the City. They make a great effort to accommodate me and the other reporters that work for this site, but Lee specifically gives one of the most honest interviews out there and doesn’t flinch when I ask him a tough question (like last week, when I asked if he felt his playcalling was conservative). For that, I’d give him a A+.

      • Ari Gold says:

        I understand your position to maintain good standing with all the head coaches and to not be labelled as a Skip Bayless-type personality and be critical. I like how you defined your role as a reporter, not a specific school supporter and leaving that to us.

        Of course he doesnt flinch on your tough questions, the so-called “dictator” as some may refer him to can never be wrong, accountable, or doubt whatever comes out of his mouth. He has always been like that.

  14. BeeFeez says:

    John Lee is a scary mediocre coach. That 2009 class had 3 senior D1 players, and I believe 3, for sure 2 D1 Juniors. A handful of D2 players as well. His record that season…..5-5. SHC needed to win a coin flip to go into CCS playoffs where they eventually won in the small school division. Nobody gets less out of more than John Lee.

  15. Jon Goldsmith says:

    Ari and BeeFeez,
    You two are clowns.
    You dont coach, you just blog anonymously about HIGH SCHOOL coaches.
    If you have so much hatred for Coach Lee, contact the SH administration…..oh wait, you wouldn’t do that because you would have to identify yourselves….and cowards dont do that.
    Ari, you have gone so far as to bait Jeremy into your little world of hate, of which I am proud he didnt. He has class, something you could learn a little about.
    You know that movie, “Good Will Hunting”? When Robin Williams is finally breaking through to Matt Damon, and he says, “Its not your fault.” Ari, its not your fault. Let it go. Some coach or athlete must have punked you in your youth and this is your way of getting back.

    • Ari Gold says:

      Clowns huh? Who are you Bryce Harper? A lame movie reference and a blind assumption that I was punked and being a coward. Wow you really know it all.

      1) I have talked to Joann Momono about it.

      2) Hate??? really. You really need to read and stop reading in between the lines. I don’t hate John Lee. Im not a fan of his coaching style, play calling, and how he cannot be self accountable or won’t put the blame on himself before he blames his own players, and his head-scratching answers towards questions from the media.

      3) You really think Im going to “bait” Jeremy Balan into saying something negative about John Lee? For one, hes not going to do that because he’s an objective source but he’s seen more games than probably you and I have combined. I wanted to know what he’s seen since he is a credible source. He’s not an Irish fan. (he’s more a Wildcat fan 51% of the time)… He’s just doing his job being a reporter and editor.

      4) I hope he doesnt go 1-9 or 2-8, but that seems like the likely end of season result. I’d love to hear what he says or ever worse see how many fewer players come back for their senior year or juniors that dont want to play for him.

      • Jon Goldsmith says:

        Ari,
        Why dont you do us all a favor and go coach somewhere so we can see how good you are? Or do you just like to criticize coaches from behind your computer screen? You are pathetic.
        You are clearly a coward, otherwise you would approach Coach Lee in person to share with him your theories.
        And please dont give me the “freedom of speech” argument. Just because you have the freedom to do something, doesnt mean you should do it.
        IE – you have the freedom to eat McDonald’s 3 times/day, 7 days a week….it doesnt mean that you should do it.
        You know what you are doing, and you have no shame or class. You are an arm chair qb – at best.

        • jbalan says:

          Enough with the name calling, guys. It’s not contributing to the conversation.

          • Ari Gold says:

            Jeremy, in the rules handbook, could SHC have called a timeout after O’Dowd called a timeout to ice the kicker?

              • Ari Gold says:

                The one blocked PAT vs Terra Nova, the one blocked PAT & blocked FG vs O’Dowd, were they all blocked from the same side?

            • ARHS Stats says:

              yes, they could have if they had timeouts left.

              • Ari Gold says:

                If SHC did have a timeout in their pocket and the players even recognized the overload on one side, wouldnt the move be at the moment be to call a timeout?

                I know this is just second guessing but Im sure back to back timeouts on a FG attempt would be double icing the kicker. But in the case that its not icing the kicker why snap into a play when your team is not prepared to handle a defensive mismatch (in this case an overloaded side where a blocked kick is the likely result (also happened earlier in the game on a PAT).

                Thank you for the rule clarification Pat.

              • jbalan says:

                Yeah, just imagine the commenter backlash if they called a timeout and he missed the kick after that.

              • JJ says:

                When BOD called a timeout, they should’ve tried a fake FG with the kicker running out to the right and the holder tossing the ball to him. Easy TD to the hizzay!!

              • Ari Gold says:

                The result is the same = zero points, but the difference is a blocked kick has zero chance whereas a kick that missed wide or short at least has a % of going through if unblocked.

                I would be alarmed if SHC gets their PATs or FGs blocked in the next few games as thats 3 blocked kicks in 3 games. But entering into WCAL play where the linemen are bigger and players are faster, a blocked kick vs SHC wouldnt be that surprising even if the coaching staff finally decides to make a special teams adjustment.

          • IC Stars says:

            Sounds like a Nor-Cal Preps reject.

          • GCJ 01 says:

            The funny thing is that they’re breaking the “Code of Conduct” and you didn’t even warn them of such. I hope I get this luxury one day JB! But it was nice to see you allow someone to put Ari in his place. This reminded me of the “old days” of SanFranPreps when we could “battle it out” without having to worry about being flagged with the “Code of Conduct” warning!

        • in the know says:

          Ari, you really do not know John Lee at all if you say he blames his players and never himself. He constantly second guesses himself and blames himself for calls he regrets or not listening to his gut. But at least he is on the feild actually coaching unlike you who cant coach and just has a comment for every single play called. I would like to know what Joann Momono said when you told her your thoughts on Coach Lee. Did you offer your services as head coach? and yes, have you talked to Lee about your concerns? I doubt it.

          John Goldsmith…you are dead on! Thank you.

  16. BeeFeez says:

    I don’t hate the man. In fact, he’s a pretty nice guy and cares about his players. Just calling it the way it is. I really don’t care one way or the other if Sacred Heart keeps him. But still a mediocre coach.

  17. Turtle says:

    If he goes 1-9 then he has to go. It’s not getting any better with the jv’s. Maybe he’ll step down and let the other coaches prove themselves.

    • JJ says:

      What if SHC goes 2-8? Stay or sayonara? The Marshall coach may be a good fit, because he has alot of confidence and is willing to take chances.

      • Lance says:

        WCAL programs tend to hire WCAL or private school alums as their head coaches.

        • JJ says:

          SHC’s basketball team went the public school route and picked up a pretty good coach, Darrell Barbour. The Football program can go the same route. The new Raiders coach should be available after this year.

  18. Jfree says:

    Wow. One loss, and we are ready to throw the coach overboard. This is a guy who had us in the section championship game LAST year, remember? O’dowd is a pretty decent team. They have a terrific QB who is a three year starter (and is going to UCLA on a baseball scholarship), and we effectively shut down their passing game (the TD pass at the end of the first half was a 50 yard strike to a receiver who was fairly well-covered – sometimes you have to tip your hat) . We were running through an athletic defense the whole game, so I don’t have any problem with the game strategy. Jerry is clearly struggling with his passing right now. Still, we only lost the game by 3 points! in overtime!

  19. Jon Goldsmith says:

    Jeremy,
    Because I respect and appreciate the work that you do, I will cease with calling Ari a coward.
    Maybe you could also advise bloggers to refrain from attacking coaches too. You of all people see how hard they work.
    Respectfully,
    Jon

Leave a Comment

Comments that advocate violence, racism, or libel, as well as comments featuring profanity will not be permitted. Repeat offenders will have their commenting privileges suspended. All comments must abide by our Commenting Code of Conduct.