Football: St. Francis’ big plays, lack of running game sink Sacred Heart Cathedral

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior quarterback Jerry Peralta is tracked down by a pair of St. Francis defenders on Saturday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

By Zack Farmer

Four big pass plays doomed the Sacred Heart Cathedral football team in its West Catholic Athletic League opener against St. Francis.

The Lancers scored on pass plays of 28 and 80 yards less than five minutes apart from each other in the second quarter, then on plays of 61 and 83 yards in the third, en route to a 28-0 victory on Saturday at Kezar Stadium.

“It comes down to four or five big plays and I thought they didn’t quit,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee. “That’s what love about them. They never have. We got to hunker down and eliminate the mental mistakes.”

St. Francis quarterback Mike Lauck releases a throw against Sacred Heart Cathedral. Lauck threw for four touchdowns. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

Not only did the Irish (1-3, 0-1) have trouble stopping the the big plays, but they also struggled to get their own running game going. Sacred Heart only had three runs of five or more yards in the first three quarters and rushed for a total of 61 yards on 28 carries.

“The running game struggled the whole time and that’s what made it frustrating,” Lee said. “We couldn’t establish a running game today and for our first three games, we had a pretty decent running game consistently.”

Without that consistent running game, the Irish were forced to punt 10 times.

“We had a good plan coming in,” said St. Francis head coach Nick Navarro. “We thought we knew what they were going to do based on what we saw on film. We had some good schemes to stop what they did and our kids executed it well.”

Already ahead 14-0 in the second half, St. Francis (2-2, 1-0) forced Sacred Heart to punt on its first possession of the second half and quickly capitalized. Following a St. Francis penalty, Ryan Johnson caught a pass from Mike Lauck, escaped a tackle and ran for a 61-yard touchdown.

On the first play of their next drive, Lauck found Alex Andrighetto down the left sideline for an 83-yard strike, extending the lead to 28-0.

The Irish had their best scoring opportunity come late in the second quarter.

Sacred Heart nearly saw its fifth possession end in another punt when the Lancers committed a roughing the kicker penalty to extend the drive.

Sacred Heart sophomore quarterback Logan White then completed six of his next seven passes for 50 yards to get the Irish into the red zone, including a diving catch by junior Brett Rasso for 16 yards.

With a minute left in the half, Sacred Heart faced a fourth-and-1 on the St. Francis 2-yard line and tried to punch it on a run by Rasso, but a wall of Lancer defenders pushed him back, forcing a turnover on downs.

Neither team could get on the scoreboard in the first quarter, but St. Francis had its chances. The Lancers had two possessions end deep in Sacred Heart territory, including their opening possession, when they failed to convert on a 4th-and-goal on the Irish 1-yard line.

The St. Francis defense was also keeping the Irish at bay early, and did not allow a single play to occur in St. Francis territory in the opening quarter.

The St. Francis offense was finally able to break through early in the second quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Lauck to Andrighetto.

After the Irish went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, it took St. Francis five plays for Lauck to hit sophomore receiver Brycen Carbonel for an 80-yard touchdown strike, putting the Lancers up 14-0.

Scoring Summary

Second Quarter
SF: 11:25 – Alex Andrighetto 28-yard pass from Mike Lauck (Patrick Fordham kick)
SF: 7:24 – Brycen Carbonel 80-yard pass from Lauck (Fordham kick)

Third Quarter
SF: 7:44 – Ryan Johnson 61-yard pass from Lauck (Fordham kick)
SF: 6:59 – Andrighetto 83-yard pass from Lauck (Fordham kick)

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78 Comments

  1. IC Stars says:

    Irish should keep Logan White at QB the rest of the year. Peralta is busy enough out there. JV’s need a new coaching staff.

  2. Chris says:

    Yes the JV’s are completely wasting there time out there. They haven’t scored at all in the last three games while getting blasted. Like I said before, move the most promising3-4 JV players up to help out the tired varsity who could use some more bodies to give the guys better stamina. Move the most promising Freshman up to JV’s to lay some hope for the future. Make some changes and tweaks to the coaching staff and market football at SHC better. If SI and Riordan can get 65+ kids to play freshman football this year, surely SHC can attract at least 50-55 players 2017.

    • GCJ 01 says:

      Sounds like you’re the perfect canidate to go help out SHC’s coaching staff.

      • GCJ 01 says:

        JB, it’s 3am. It’s time for bed my friend!

      • Chris says:

        I wish.. GCJ01…lol. Football is hard for SH because it never will have a field in the downtown area. You notice the school is able to attract better for basketball, volleyball, even baseball etc. But its not impossible, with a little more support from alumni and administration I feel the school can make a bigger effort for football. Case in point, SHC never had a track either, and still put out some quality track athletes in the last decade. By the way, I didn’t give up on Peralta or anyone on this team, I just feel getting more guys should move up and this will only help with more practice and playing time. This can only benefit and help the future.

        • GCJ 01 says:

          You bring up great points. They should try to relocate the school somewhere. Downtown is, by no means, the best place to have a school; especially one with a football team. The SFUSD probably have several properties that it’s willing to sell, or at least lease, to SH.

          I agree with you in that they should probably bring up some of the JV’s (at least the 10th graders) to help out with adding to the roster.

          Where does SHC’s football team practice?

          • Chris says:

            We use to practice in the Polo Fields. This is why people said if you played football at SH, you really had to have a lot of heart and desire to play. The players either had to get a ride from a friend or take the bus to practice at GG Park by the beach after school. I think the teams practice now on the make shift artificial field on Eddy and Gough. You are right, I am sure, the school can make a deal to fix and maintain the field Hayward Playground area? down on Golden Gate and Gough and get some exclusive lease usage for 50 years or something. That field can be used for a lot of sports, I think it is a lot cheaper than buying the land for now..

            • GCJ 01 says:

              Wow, so, after a long day at school you would have to go to GG Park just to practice? That is nothing less than dedication. The school definately needs to get with SF’s Park and Rec and at least, like you said, invest in maintaining the field at Hayward Playground.

              I’m still in favor or relocating the school. I don’t think it’s fair (to both students and staff) to have all of the sports facilities (or any of the school’s facilities) in different locations. I know several other schools in SF are like this as well.

              Hopefully a solution to this will be found. I strongly believe that SHC could draw more numbers for football if they improve both the location and the lack of football facilities.

              • jbalan says:

                Hate to stomp on your idea, but relocation ain’t happening. They have way too much money in the current location to move.

              • GCJ 01 says:

                JB,

                It just makes no sense to me as to why they even decided to have a campus in downtown SF in the first place. If my memory serves me correctly, no AAA school has a campus downtown (although several are near downtown-such as O’Connell and Gal). It just doesn’t make much sense to me.

              • jbalan says:

                Depends on what you call downtown. International is down by SHC and so is Stuart Hall. Jewish Community and Gateway are also pretty close (in Western Addition) too.

              • GCJ 01 says:

                Very true, but, if I’m not mistaken, SHC is the only one of those schools that field a football team. So, for them to have a campus downtown makes little sense to me.

            • IC Stars says:

              I’m not giving up on Peralta. He’s an MVP candidate playing three different positions out there but Logan White should be their starter. He looked good on that second quarter drive.

              As for that practice field problem, I don’t see why they can’t use that playground near the school or use Kimbell Field at Geary & Steiner. They really should look to buy some more land and you’re right about them marketing football better. Just the school’s football history alone should attract players.

              • in the know says:

                they actually practice at westmoor in daly city. Brand new football feild and track. Westmoor dropped football, so SH uses it 4 days a week. beautiful field. I think it helps them to practice on an actual full field that is lined. Helps with where to line up, seing the hash marks, etc. Moving the school is a no go. They should have moved it long ago. SI was smart enough to move west. SH has never been that smart.

              • JJ says:

                Since Candlestick won’t be used in a couple years, SHC can perhaps get a major discount and buy it? Or the 49ers can just give it to them out of the goodness of their heart?

              • JJ says:

                Never mind. I just read they will demolish the ‘Stick and build tons of homes on the land of Candlestick.

              • GCJ 01 says:

                In the Know,

                Is that information correct? I don’t see why SHC would travel all the way to DC to practice. That makes no sense. I’m not questioning what you’re saying is true, I just find it hard to believe (and illogical) for them to travel to DC just to practice. By doing so, they’re cutting into time that could be used for practice.

              • jbalan says:

                They do practice at Westmoor. I’ve been there several times to do interviews for summer football previews and games of the week.

              • GCJ 01 says:

                If they tear down the “Stick” that means no more pro football in SF. I thought that Candlestick was a historical landmark. I guess I was wrong.

              • jbalan says:

                There is no more pro football in San Francisco once the 49ers leave for Santa Clara.

              • GCJ 01 says:

                JB,

                Do you know for sure there will be no more pro football in SF when the Niners leave?

              • jbalan says:

                Well, Candlestick is going to be demolished once the 49ers leave, so where would a pro team play?

              • GCJ 01 says:

                AT&T Park lol. Ironically, AT&T Park was considered for the Niners to share with the Giants when it was being built. However, the Giants and then Mayor Willie Brown shot down that idea.

              • jbalan says:

                It’s just not a viable option to have three teams in one metropolitan area. NFL won’t have it.

              • Durham2012 says:

                Really, move the entire campus out of downton SF? Are we serious? That is the whole draw or going to SH for city and peninsula kids. No one is relocating, especially the school itself. After the great additions to the campus they have made recently. Lets get real. They have good academics and coaches, now they just need need a few more boys to go out for frosh try outs like every other WCAL school, then keep them playing by getting a few W’s! SH will come and go just like they always do. That is their nature and no one should try and change a good thing.

      • Turtle says:

        Maybe the administration needs to step in and save our football team. That was a painful afternoon. Based on the first week of league it looks like 1-9 is a real possibility. I’m calling for change.

        • Durham2012 says:

          downtown*
          of*
          -need

        • IC Stars says:

          Sure, how do you pick-up a campus and move it anywhere? What they need is a Wreck-the-Park Dept. that will let them use land close by for practice. I don’t see why the current practice field isn’t enough.

  3. KO'C says:

    Don’t give up on Peralta. The kid is a stud who will give his all for his teammates. This mentality he learned from his father. He is not given enough recognition for his performance. Peralta is more prepared for the upcoming opponents and wish him all the best.

  4. DM says:

    Matt Hewitson # 24’s presence on the field at yesterday ‘s game was surely missed. That kid went out every game & gave it his ALL. Hewitson plays with pure heart and talent both offensively and defensively. Hope he recovers from that injury real soon. The Irish need him back in on their starting line up.

  5. Ari Gold says:

    St Francis this season supposedly is a down year. Likely will finish 5th in league but still pitches a shutout vs the Irish. Im starting to rethink my comments about Coach Lee not needing 6’5 240lb players on his team. He just needs players period, able bodies. The silver lining are those 25-30 some-odd players that are toughing it out despite being outmatched, outnumbered, outsized, outcoached. …

    Although not popular, Irish really need to use alot of trick plays like hb passes or have Jerry on the end-around run or pass. They are not going to win the battle in the trenches throughout the course of a game. They just dont have the size or the depth to comepte this year in league. Im really sore to say this but i think SI is going to hang 50 in the bruce mahoney game this year.

    • JJ says:

      SI won’t put up 50 on SHC. If the score gets out of hand, I’m sure the SI coaches will put in the reserves and melt the clock, calling halfback dives on 3rd and long. I can’t see how SHC will win this game, though, but maybe they looked relatively bad on purpose this week, because they saved up their “good” plays for the B-H game, hoping SI will take them lightly. On the other hand, SI could light up the scoreboard for payback for SHC running up the score last year.

  6. Frank Lucas says:

    What a whooping! SHC will be lucky to beat Riordan as they have no shot of beating SI. Things are going south in a hurry on Ellis Street!

    • in the know says:

      i really wouldnt call it a whooping. The score may sound like that, but watching it, it was a winable game. It was 0-0 through the end of the second quarter. SH needed to score when they had the chance right before half time, yet they didn’t. SF took the emotional upswing after the half. It was a win by a few big plays, SF werent that good or that fast.

  7. ARHS Stats says:

    Charlie Clark caught the first TD pass for St. Francis, not Alex Andrighetto

  8. WCAL Alum says:

    That’s right move 160 years of Heart of the City tradition out for the sake a sport encompassing 5 home games a year. I may be mistaken, but SHC is in the WCAL not the SEC.

    Dont worry, I get you. The physical campus is O.K. but extremely limited. Look, I’m fortunate to live in the City in a million dollar plus property (at least that’s what my bank says). It may be comprable in price to a nice house in the suburbs, but at the end of the day, I am still a resident in one of the most beautiful cities (if not the) in the world. I would trade that, I am sure some SH, SHCP people would think the same thing.

    Just think of the things OUTSIDE of sports that keep SHC one of the most sought after secondary school in the area.

  9. Only a Fan says:

    Anything can happen this week. Remember back to 2010 when Si was not having a very good year (lost to riordan) and SHC had one of their better teams in a while. SHC was predicted to win but si came out on top. You never know in high school sports….

    • JJ says:

      In 2010, SHC’s football team was basically on the same level as SI. In other words, they were both at the bottom of the WCAL standings. So basically, it’s like the Raiders playing Jacksonville; the game was a toss-up.

    • Lance says:

      “Remember back in 2010….” starting to sound like Chris Farley talking to Paul McCartney in the SNL scit.

      • IC Stars says:

        Well in 1910, SHC (C-College) had one of the best baseball teams in history around here and won the SFAL and AAL section playoffs but what’s a little time gone by?

    • Ari Gold says:

      Whenever the scenario you painted happens, the more “talented”, highly ranked SHC team would lose to a perceived “not so good” SI team. Flip the roles, the more “talented”, higher ranked SI team would embarrass the “not very good” SH team. Ive seen it over and over. Theres a reason why SI has that huge Bruce Mahoney football series lead. Getting only 2 wins every 10 years for the last 40 years will do that to the record book.

  10. The OG says:

    It’s funny to see you guys coming on this website Ari you know nothing , sacred heart will go 7-1 in league,thats my prediction.

  11. Big guy 24 says:

    I mentioned this before on the SHC frosh coach-3 yrs ago he had 55 players and by Jv year there was only 34, 2 yrs ago frosh had 56 then by Jv’s think it was 28, last yr same results. Its a trend for at least 3 yrs where kids have stated playing was boring and no fun, No creativity on offense and all that time practicing for not. Change the frosh coach and bring in a system for kids to play hard and have fun. Throw the ball cause running it has got about 3 wins in 4 yrs at frosh level. Kids will come if they believe they will compete and have fun playing too, other wise just get good grades and study hard. Just my opinion!

  12. manifest Destiny says:

    I disagree big guy 24. I watched the Sacred Heart/St. Francis Frosh game on Saturday. They are low on numbers but I saw a cohesive group of dedicated young players. They were very disciplined and played a good game on the road in the heat. Coach Lee teaches and sets a good example for the players. Those kids do play hard and it looked as if they were having fun! They should not switch coaches. Coach Lee is a gentleman , a hard core SH football alum , a former head varsity coach at the school and a role model for high school athletes. I think he is also in the SH hall of fame. Change the Frosh coach? See you Thursday sport!

    • IC Stars says:

      I saw their game against Campolindo. They still need more players but this team is definitely better than last season’s.

      • wcalsf says:

        Who won the Frosh game?

        • IC Stars says:

          St. Francis won the Frosh game 27-14.

          • The OG says:

            IC just curious what did you think about last years frosh team?

            • IC Stars says:

              I thought they were bad…. Their two best players were on the JV’s but I don’t know what difference it would have made. They only scored 6 points against a Riordan team that scored no points on the season and gave up 390. Now they’re JV’s and still look bad.

              This year’s frosh team has some better defense and is able to move the ball on offense.

              • The OG says:

                well you bring up good points. Im just curious but you seem to be very close to the shcp football program, why always so negative, always looking at the bqad things. Focusing on the things that dont really matter? Did you watch the last years frosh team a lot?

              • IC Stars says:

                It’s a fine line. If I think we’re good, then I’m bragging. If I’m honest about a bad team, then I’m “negative” and I should “support the kids”. I just saw a couple of frosh games last year but I should see at least three more this season. With all the money I’ve spent on athletic passes, caps and sweatshirts over the years, they have plenty of support. The AD even gave me a varsity jacket for doing some research for them. Ask them who discovered the 1894 and 1896 SH-SI game and a second 1893 game played against St. Mary’s.

  13. Lance says:

    Hey Jeremey anymore Bigfoot sightenings at Stern Grove?

  14. Old Soul says:

    There are many reason why attrition is prominent going from Frosh to JV. 1. Most Frosh kids join because its something most boys do when they start high school. And most of these kids never played organized football. Some may have played flag but a few played in POP Warner or PAL leagues. It takes about 3 games for them to get accustomed to hitting and unfortunately some of these kids may not like getting hit. 2.Frosh should be a Development year in preparation for JV and Varsity but unfortunately, its WCAL and it’s highly competitive with a lot of pride at stake. So it is a win at all costs attitude hence the skilled players will play most of the game and everyone else will need to step it up somehow in practice or learn fast or else you just stand in the sidelines and it’s not fun when you are that person. 3. Frosh kids are somewhat deciding what sport they really want to play and commit to one or two the next year.so they try out in one sport in fall, winter, and spring. I knew skilled players in football that quit the following to concentrate on Lacrosse, Baseball, wrestling, basketball because they want to make sure they get on the varsity team in a few years.

    So it’s not uncommon to see a full squad of 65 in frosh and the next year only 35 comes back. I must agree tho that SHC needs a field to practice in very close proximity. That bites that they have to trek a long ways off campus somewhere just to practice. a lot of dedication for the parents and especially for the kids.

  15. IRISH 80"s says:

    “Big guy 24” Do you know why the numbers go down the next year? Most Freshman are curious to play football, so they try it out. Even thought they have never played organized football until freshman year. It’s easy to walk in and start in September and end in November. While after the season ends and you’re not playing any other sport you’re expected to be in the weight room by January. So when the three month Freshman hayride is over and it turns into a ten month reality check. That’s when you lose your players. “Who is really dedicated to play football?’ With no games just working out for ten months It’s not like Basketball and Baseball where you get to play 20 plus games in the off season. So if you choose to make Football your sport you have to be dedicated. Also this isn’t CYO you don’t get to play 2 quarters. Wins and loses usually don’t matter on the freshman level. You want the freshman to learn the system .I agree about the throwing they should throw some more, but SH typically gets running backs not quarterbacks. The school on 37th Ave. usually gets the QB’s

    • Chris says:

      This is true, SH has had some great running backs. But they have a good young QB this year. Put some pieces together for him and I think his junior and senior years will be pretty special.

  16. Turtle says:

    Only the guys who really love football and play only one high school sport stick with football. Your number are off, there are on average less then 15 sophmores who have played jv the last 2-3 years out of 40-45 plus. Big guy has some truth to what he says. The frosh coaches don’t relate to the modern day student athlete, and to be honest John lee is similar. Revamping the whole program isn’t a bad idea. It’s not personal it’s a job and if you don’t do it well you should give someone else a try. Watch what happens to Tedford at Cal, and he has had good years with the bears. Be objective people. Something’s have to change. It’s not the kids fault!

    • JJ says:

      There’s alot of SHC and SI players that play football and another sport. Brett Rasso, for instance, plays football and baseball. The “best” players on SI’s football team play 2 sports. A few lacrosse players on SI play football such as Emery and Lang, Stinn the QB plays baseball, Vollert the WR plays basketball, as well as Noah Bull and Watters. So, you don’t really have to make football a 10-month grind, you can play other sports in order to still keep in shape. I agree that Tedford at CAL will be fired this year, or he will re-sign.

  17. Ari Gold says:

    Im sorry, this moving the school to another location is just nonsense since the basis of those saying this is for football? SHC is in its own unique location in the heart of the city. It has pretty much one city block, check that, theres the DePaul campus also.

    The school builds its academic environment vertically…. and below the ground. If you build anything on campus, its going to be for education, so the whole student body can use it. A football field is out of the question and a pipe dream. We arent a football powerhouse and football much less any high school sports doenst make the any school any money.

    Im surprised peanut gallery genius’ didnt suggest tearing down st. marys cathedral, to build a football stadium there. I love how some have turned this into Sim City SHC 2050.

    • JJ says:

      Although most high schools lose money by having a football program, doesn’t football generate more money than the less watched sports like men’s volleyball, swimming, track n field, and golf?

      • Ari Gold says:

        I wonder what bizarro world you live in where HIGH SCHOOL sports are supposed to generate profitable revenue for the schools.

        Thats why SHC has fundraisers like the Walkathon and Alumni donations to help pay for teams, uniforms, transportation, league fees, coaches pay, … in football’s case, paying for rental of kezar, rental of westmoor field for practice….

        If this was a money making business, dont you think they would charge more than $5 for adults, and $2-3 for students? And SH for football home games do the 50/50 raffle where they give away half of the the game’s take for the night. So its obvious they are “losing” money by having a team but not to the point where the school has to cancel teams because they dont have funding.

        Private schools dont have that issue like the AAA where if the city has no budget for school’s team, they’ll tell them sorry we dont have money for your sports program, just concentrate on academics.

        • JJ says:

          Well, the bruce-Mahoney football game draws about 8,000 fans, so $5 a ticket generates alot of $ for that game, maybe enough to pay for the uniforms, while swimming generates $0. If high schools decided to charge $10, Id probably stay home, although I think they charged $10 when the game was at AT&T Park, and that game drew over 10K fans, so wouldn’t that equate to 100K dollars since the Giants let them play there for free?

  18. Irishman says:

    We’re going to move the school so that the football team can have a field? Folks, get your priorities straight.

    2-3 kids from this varsity team might play college ball at some level. 1-2 from the whole league might play pro somewhere. This isn’t a minor league franchise, it’s a school. And SHC is teaching kids the game, how to win and how lose, and how to do it all with class. Some of them learn better than others of course, but as long as that is the coaches’ aim, I hope they stay.

  19. Pablo says:

    Its going to be a long year, anyone that believes SH will win in WCAL is nuts! It’s time for new coaching in the Footall Program and even more important a new AD! Why do we needy two completely useless AD’s?

    • Lance says:

      You are correct Pablo SHC will not win in the WCAL. It’s not just a coaching and AD problem but a talent problem

  20. TM76 says:

    I agree it will be a long year for football. They will need a few lucky bounces to pull out any chance of a win against the south bay WCAL schools. Between their lack of over all size and small team numbers they will need to take advantage of every scoring opportunity they can get. Mistakes need to be kept to a minimum almost like playing the perfect game every game. If they struggled to get the running going against SF, what happens when they play Bellarmine, Serra, SI , etc, which historically have had some huge lineman. They will need that ground to help control the clock late in games if they have a lead. I wish players well and hope they can pull off a few upsets, maybe starting this Friday at the Bruce.

    And why does SH have two ADs? Does any other parochial or private school that is coed have that? Mr. Balan have you ever got answer to that?

  21. Big guy 24 says:

    Wcal is a big time monster, just found out Serra 49 to Riordan 0 at halftime…SI 28 to SHC 21 at halftime..Keep fighting city schools but poor Riordan going through a butt whipping tonight. Keep working and keep fighting kids.

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