Football: Serra runs Riordan off the field in 56-0 WCAL rout

Riordan junior quarterback Zach Masoli buys time outside the pocket on Friday at Serra High School in San Mateo. (Photo by Willie Eashman)

By Lamonte Dewindt

SAN MATEO – If Archbishop Riordan High School’s football team was encouraged by a relatively close loss to Bellarmine last week, those feelings quickly faded on the road against Serra on Friday night.

The Crusaders allowed 325 yards and five touchdowns by five different Serra runners, while being shutout by the Padres’ defense, in a disappointing 56-0 West Catholic Athletic League loss on Friday night.

Riordan (3-2, 0-2) failed to stop Serra (5-0, 2-0) on its first three possessions of the game and dug itself a 28-0 hole after the first quarter.

“To be honest with you, it wasn’t about X’s and O’s,” said Riordan head coach Richard Sweeney. “It’s about people. They [have] better people right now than we have. It doesn’t really matter what the X’s and O’s were.”

While the Riordan defense struggled all night, the offense did little to help.

The Crusaders either punted or turned the ball over on each of their four first-quarter possessions and finished the game with just 137 yards of total offense.

Riordan junior quarterback Zach Masoli finished with 38 yards and two interceptions on 4-of-19 passing, and rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries, but constantly had to scramble due to pressure Serra brought up the middle.

“Masoli is a slippery kid man. He’s like the Teflon [quarterback] back there,” said Serra head coach Pat Walsh. “He moved the chains a few times, but I thought when we cleared up our angles a little bit and flattened out, it allowed us to get them off the field.”

At the beginning of the second half, with the crusaders trailing 49-0, Sweeney was asked by referees to finish the game with a running clock and declined, but agreed for the clock to run in the fourth quarter.

“The refs asked me about it at the beginning of the second quarter and I said, ‘No, we have to keep playing,’” Sweeney said. “But as we kept seeing players get knocked out of the game, we have to live to fight another day.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
S: 8:20 – Eric Redwood 9-yard run (Anthony Toms kick)
S: 3:02 – Kava Cassidy 25-yard pass from Zack Kazakoff (Toms kick)
S: 2:33 – Vince Camp 30-yard interception return (Toms kick)
S: 0:02 – Angelo Arco 35-yard run (Toms kick)

Second Quarter
S: 11:22 – Greg Newbeck 14-yard run (Toms kick)
S: 10:07 – Easop Winston 45 yard punt return (Toms kick)
S: 2:03 – Jordan Jauregui 5 yard run (Toms kick)

Third Quarter
S: 5:36 – Cassidy 21-yard run (Toms kick)

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69 Comments

  1. GCJ 01 says:

    “To be honest with you, it wasn’t about X’s and O’s,” said Riordan head coach Richard Sweeney. “It’s about people. They [have] better people right now than we have. It doesn’t really matter what the X’s and O’s were.”

    You have to credit Coach Sweeney for being straight forward and honest with is comments.

    • wcalsf says:

      Sweeney’s comments summed up the game – Serra had better players thru out. Very impressive team and should take the WCAL.

    • FootballSupporter says:

      Coach Sweeney’s candid reply is refreshingly honest – but a percieved lack of trying to adapt is alarming. Football history is full or “underdog” successes. I heard several Serra parent/fans saying the Riordan should not be in the WCAL any more. I am inclined to agree.

      • wcalsf says:

        It’s all relative…I was at a DLS-Serra game a few years ago and their fans/parents said the same thing about the Padres on why they are even on their schedule since they are no competition. Years back, Riordan routinely crushed Serra in hoops even dropping 103 pts on them and the same was said how sad their program was and had no business being on the same court. No doubt Serra is very good this year. Let’s see how the sf teams do against Bells, Serra and Mitty…

        • Billy says:

          Agree with this. Serra had a 7 game series with DLS 5 games were absoulute blowouts 2 were competitive. What it does show that Walsh knew to build the program back up he had to beef up the non-league schedule. 0-7 with DLS was a mismatch but it did lead to Serra getting stronger, getting better players who want to go to Serrra, and to at least try to compete in the WCAL.

        • Scott says:

          Is that noteworthy that a team went 0-7 against DLS?? Pretty sure every their record over teh past 25 years indicates that most if not all records agains are “0” for against. Only way you can get better is to either play a paper schedule like every team from SF and rack up wins or force your team to get more competitive against better talent. I gurantee the fans of DLS could not differentiate one doormat or another so stop with the poor attempt at connecting the two. And sad for the other comments from the false quote that Riordan should move along. That was never said,,,

          • wcalsf says:

            Scott, good comment…and agree it was disappointing to hear the “comment” that Riordan should move along. There has been nothing but tough love support from most here on the board and the shear amount of chatter. Serra runs a great program and the Padres were gracious hosts @ Fri nights game

          • Lance says:

            Scott point I was trying to make was that Serra got a coach who knew they had to upgrade the non-league schedule. True they were 0-7. Two of the loses were a very competitive game. I’m sure you would not consider Serra a doormat during the Walsh era. City WCAL Schools will have to stop playing the cupcake non-league schedules in order to compete in the WCAL. Many have mentioned on this site and others that the league is the best in the Bayarea and possibly NOCAL. But a league can only be as good as its weakest links.

            Come on city WCAL pick it up. Stop with the excuses and blaming the Coaches, facilities or student enrollments.

      • Mr. Direct says:

        Credit him for throwing his players under the bus?! The game plan and play calling for Riordan was horrible. Who coaches the O-Line? Who are the defensive and offensive coordinators? Serra has better players because they identify and develop talent at that school. The talent discrepancy between the players does not equal a score of 49-0 at halftime!! The bigger discrepancy is between the coaching staffs and head of the programs in particular.

        • JJ says:

          The O-line coach of Riordan played at Penn State, so I’m sure he learned a thing or 2 from the coaching greats of that school.

      • Billy says:

        I would not say that. Everything goes in cycles. Right now the city WCAl teams are down. Yes, SI is going to have a good year. Remember they were 1-5-1 just last year.As mentioned earlier the Riordan Frosh beat Serra. Only Frosh, but something to build on.

        Riordan and the other City WCAL have to commit to their football programs like Walsh and Serra commited to theirs. As a Serra alum I remember the lean years of football after coach Freitas retired and that was in 1975. Serra brought in a coach who was part of the great DLS program and he has pointed the way how to at least try and compete with the south WCAL.

        • bugs bunny says:

          A nice Frosh win for our boys. Lets remember that those guys were without 2 of their best players and a 3rd that had 3 td’s in the JV game.
          I agree that or talent vs theirs does not equal 49-0 at half.

          • Lance says:

            Hey bugs good take. Heard it though the grapevine Frosh JV coaches no to thrilled with the pulling kids Frosh to JV & JV to Var. Little of cannibalism going on down their.

          • Old Soul says:

            “3rd that had 3 tds in the JV game” I thought JV didn’t score a single point? I believe that freshman players shouldn’t even be considered to go up to JV. JV players have been training all summer and then you get a few freshman to join in? I guess if they needed players to keep numbers up, but it should be purely out of desperation. JV to Varsity is normal but they usually bring up one or two really good ones.

            I’m not familiar with Northern Catholic Middle schools but looking back at my son’s frosh team, 85% of them come from Catholic Private Middle schools in the SB local area. Very little came from public middle schools. These SB Catholic middle schools feed into SF, Bell, Mitty, and Valley. WHat’s interesting is that the Frosh best players in each school also played for local Pop Warner and PAL. Valley had the most frosh that played Pop Warner. (over 25 I believe and that’s why they came up top in the standings) All freshman played for the Frosh team. Also I believe that most of these kids in Catholic middle school have their school picked a lot younger than people think. If they don’t get accepted with their first choice, then they will go to their second option. My son had a choice between any of the four but always wanted to go to his first choice and he did. And thats not because of football.

            • Lance says:

              I think he was refering to the 3 of Serra’s freshmn who did not play in that game. One of the players was brought up to the JV game and he scored some TD”S vs the Riordan JV’s

              • wcalsf says:

                Riordan ‘s decision to not bring up any Frosh to JVs. They easily can have at least 4 players that would make an immediate contribution.

              • Lance says:

                I just don’t like the idea of rushing kids up en mass to the next level. They should be allowed to grow with their class and try to build a 4 year bond with them. I have heard through the grapevine that some of the lower level coaches at Serra wish the upper level coaches would not pull up their top players. Some who sit on the bench or get little PT.

  2. City Fan X says:

    So much for all that riordan hype…

  3. Ari Gold says:

    When did Serra go to the white helmets? Or is their alternate helmet option? I think it would be cool if Riordan had a throwback helmet game with their yellow helmets, SH with their golden helmets.

    • IC Stars says:

      Never did like the gold helmets. They should really throw back and go with blue and white striped jerseys with no numbers on them.

      • Ari Gold says:

        I loved the classic golden dome with green facemask. Ithe reflection of the gold from the bright lights of kezar was a special sight. Im really not a fan of the new york jets knockoff.

    • wcalsf says:

      I noticed that too. I think they wore the throwback helmets since it was homecoming

  4. FootballSupporter says:

    OOF – Riordan took a beating laying down. Please they need to catch a ball and have some consistency on play calling. No percieved adjustments by the coaches. Not sure what skills Riordan is working on all week every week! Sure Serra had twice as many players and most bigger or more athletic than Riordan – but Riordan didn’t execute at most levels – which lead to the shut out. The only solace is that Serra should put the hurt on SI.
    Be safe and enjoy playing a great sport.

  5. Big guy 24 says:

    Yes we know Serra is a better team and is the top dog at this time in league but I don’t like a coach throwing his kids to the wolves by saying it wasn’t X’s and O’s it was the kids. Come on coach put the kids in a position to compete or just say your team has to work harder along with the head coach to compete better. Your offense was too predictable and Serra’s coaches had it figured out and coached their kids to better positioning on Def. I’m not saying Riordan has the talent to beat Serra but coach should man up and take blame and don’t point to the kids. Keep working hard kids and things will get better.

  6. LittleHollywood says:

    Coach Walsh seems to be attracting the best players on the Peninsula. I doubt any of the public schools on the in San Mateo County would fare much better than ARHS.

    Serra-Bellermine and Serra-SI will be worth seeing.

  7. BigMikeDC says:

    any injuries in the game? someone mentioned kids getting knocked out

  8. TM76 says:

    Offensively ARHS can’t continue to have Masoli carry the load. That kind of pounding is going to take effect much like the way Rasso plays for SH. The coach should have let the clock run, get the game over with, regroup for the next game. Serra just was too good in every facet of the game

    • wcalsf says:

      The problem is Riordan simply does not have the talent in the other skill position to compete (TE, WR and RB). Bells and Padres exposed this and simply keyed on Masoli. I would have to agree the coaching decisions and preparation have been questionable.

      • 415BnR says:

        I agree! LoL sounds like you know that Riordan team!

        • wcalsf says:

          Just calling it as I see it 415. Tough love as I want the Crusaders to become relevant in football again. Too bad Masoli may be missing the new talent coming up thru the Frosh. I heard the O/D lines improved from last week and their key offensive players shined. Was there really a big crowd out there again?

      • JJ says:

        The reason why Riordan isn’t that strong is because of their offensive line. In the only Riordan game I went to, I remember Mission HS was in the Riordan backfield all game, but Masoli was able to elude 3 or 4 guys and avoid being sacked, making would-be losses into 40 yard runs or TD’s. . So if Mission was in the backfield all game, I’m sure Serra was in the backfield the whole game since they have bigger, stronger, and faster guys than Mission. If Masoli had SI’s offensive line, I think Riordan would be a pretty good team. Also, Riordan maybe should’ve played tougher squads in preseason, like schools from SAC or San Jose, rather than the 2 best public high school football teams in SF.

        • FootballSupporter says:

          Riodan played the top AAA teams in SF and won – not a cake walk. Take up the quality of the AAA game with those schools/ teams. Football is a team game where ALL the components have to work properly. There needs to be quick decisive decisions at QB and execution at line, recievers and backs to win. This is not the NFL with 5sec pockets to sit and throw from and blaming one component of the offense is missing the issue of overall preparation for these speed teams. Look at the other WCAL QB’s, line, backs and the quick release and/or decision to commit. This should be another wild ride in the WCAL and CCS playoffs.

          • wcal says:

            That was a fluffy creamy cakewalk. The combined Calpreps rating is about 8 and a half total for the three non league opponents!!! So its the QB’s fault now? What a joke.

          • JJ says:

            Riordan beat Lincoln and Mission both by 3 touchdowns, so I don’t see how that is not a cakewalk. SHC’s stronger preseason schedule should help them get perhaps their only win in WCAL play, when they play Riordan for the Stanfel Cup, but it should be a good game.

            • wcalsf says:

              Both SI and SHC schedules’ only get tougher as Riordan opens up with the top 3 teams in league…all the SF schools will finish with losing records in league.

              • JJ says:

                If SI beats St Francis this coming Friday (and that’s a big IF), SI will easily finish with a winning record in WCAL league play. Big game this friday in Mountain View. Must-win situation

          • Lance says:

            Yo Mick how come you say everyone I fight is a bum?……. Well aint they?

  9. akcoachj says:

    Hey Riordan fans. You all have a great Coach in Coach Sweeney. He coached in college & was successful. Your school has the lowest enrollment. It will take four seasons to make that program competitive in the WCAL. Be patient this will take some time & Coach Sweeney should be applauded for taking on this complete rebuild project & making the gains that he has. If you have a mentality that our coach isn’t good enough & that we need a new coach then Riordan will never get out of the hole it’s in. Get behind Coach Sweeney & reserve your judgements until he’s been there 4-5 years.

    • Mr. Direct says:

      Do you actually watch Riordan games? So what if Sweeney coached at about a dozen low level colleges. And what makes you say that he was successful at them? Look at the records of the schools he coached at while he was there and you may want to retract that statement. What gains has he made at Riordan? More kids willing to play football? NO. Better play on the field? NO. Stronger and faster players due to offseason work? NO. Players playing harder? NO. Stop saying he should be applauded. He hasn’t done anything positive for that program. Beating those crappy pre-season opponents means nothing as we now see. Please reserve your praise and “great coach” comments for coaches that deserve them.

  10. bleedingrn76 says:

    When a coach throws his players under the Big Bus like he did it is the beginning of the end. Who would want to play for a coach who makes a public statement like that. That would be like someone pointing out his last three years at his previous college defensive coordinator/asst head coach job before he was let go. Look at how many points they gave up and their won/loss record. I guess they had bad people there also?

    • CrusaderNation says:

      He didn’t throw them under the bus as much as he acknowledged Serra was better. Serra was better that night. Everyone thought Bill Walsh was a bad hire with a so so track record. I guess you would have pointed out Bill Walsh’s track record and then jumped on the bandwagon when they weren’t winning. Easy to be negative. What do you know about what Sweeney & his team are building? Zero. It’s not going to turn around in 1 year. It will take a few. Riordan will make the adjustments, improve their line play then it will be hard to be negative. What are you going to say when Riordan beats SI? You have two weeks to start thinking about your answers.

      • Mr. Direct says:

        Read the quote again. He took zero responsibility for the embarrassing loss and blamed others. Stop mentioning Bill Walsh in the same sentence as Sweeney. It’s bizarre. Walsh was a successful offensive coach in the NFL and a winner at Stanford prior to the being hired by the Niners. Oh yeah and in 2 years he won the Super Bowl. Sweeney was perennial loser at low level colleges in the middle of nowhere USA for decades.

        And what do you know about what’s Sweeney is “building”? Why hasn’t the line play improved at all in season number 2? What are you gonna say when SI whoops Riordan? Oh I already know. He needs more time, it’s not his fault etc.

        • Lance says:

          I knew Bill Walsh. Bill Walsh was a friend of mine. Coach Sweeney is no Bill Walsh…………. Ok just 2012 take on the Dan Quayle Vp debate. I know I’m dating myself.

        • CrusaderNation says:

          Mr Direct did Sweeney cut you when you were playing? The comparison is about perception. Walsh was not considered a good hire at the time. We all agree in hindsight he was awesome. I will give you the play calling requires adjustment to stop the defense from keying on Masoli and to develop a run game. I am not going to make excuses for a horrid loss, it was horrid. It starts with the line play. You have to block who is in front of you. You must execute. At Serra and Bellermine there is a different mindset. While X’s and O’s are part of the problem, the boys have to win in the trenches. If you can’t stop them, they will win.

          I think if we really want to know, we would have to ask the players who are there everyday what they think. SI was exposed by SH the other night and that is a winnable game. At Riordan on a Saturday afternoon. It doesn’t matter what their records are, it is going to be a hard fought game that will come down to the 4th Q.

          • Mr. Direct says:

            You got me. I was a starting safety at Northwest Central South Dakota St. when Sweeney got there. He cut me after I couldn’t pick up his complicated defensive system.

      • JJ says:

        The only way Riordan beats SI in a couple weeks is if Riordan hires the replacement referee who worked the Green Bay Packer-Seattle game a couple Mondays ago.

  11. akcoachj says:

    Direct,

    No I don’t watch Riordan games. But, I’ve followed them for years. Hey direct lets get a new coach & start over again. Lets give him 14 games & then let’s get another coach. Ah he’s hired some good assistants and touched base with good young talent. The Frosh are winning where they didn’t score a point all year last year.
    Now they are winning WCAL games. 4-5 years direct.
    If they do get rid of him direct throw your name in the hat because you seem to have all the answers. Riordan football is a total rebuild & needs time & won’t be rebuilt if there is a revolving door of coaches.

  12. Lance says:

    I know Riordan is in rebuilding mode and there appears to be talent on the Frosh, but there is a pretty good chance they will experience back to back 0-7 in WCAL. The only realistic game they have a chance to win is the SHP game.The question that has to be asked is do you wait for the Frosh class in a year or two after the Varisty just went 0-14. This is a serious question to ask. I agree you can’t just keep firing coaches but there has to be demonstrated some progress being made at the varsity level.

    • jbalan says:

      I’m not a Riordan apologist by any means, but everyone is already forgetting the Bellarmine game. Riordan was very much in that game.

      Sure, the Serra game must have been rough, but I said this on the radio the night of the Bellarmine game. That game was the first time I looked on the field and saw Riordan stack up athletically with a southern WCAL team. I haven’t been able to say that in the past two years. That also says something about Bellarmine, I think, but if you’re looking for progress on the varsity level, I’d say that qualifies.

      • Lance says:

        A point well taken. But it does appear they may go 0-7 two years in a row. I’m sure this is what frustrates Riordan Alums.Progress yes, but still 0-7. Possibly .

    • IC Stars says:

      Riordan’s not playing SHP but there’s not a chance they will beat SHC.

    • wcalsf says:

      what has been disappointing are the lack of returning players from frosh last year as well as jvs to varsiity. (I.e. 60+ frosh roster, Arenas, Ugbaja, etc.) there is definitely a lack of overall team speed and it was made quite apparent last Fri night. this is definitely under Sweeney’s watch. What is encouraging are the new coaches that have been brought onboard as they have ties to the local jr football programs and have demonstrated success in rebuilding programs. Sweeney is considered an “outsider” in the local prep scene since being away for so long and he realized that something had to be done.

  13. akcoachj says:

    Someone is doing something right at Riordan because of their freshman class. What I mean is the school and program is attracting good players despite bad seasons on the Varsity. If an 8th grader last year looked at the program they would have seen a very bad Varsity season and a frosh season where they did not score a point. But, a good talented group came anyway. So, it looks like Coach Sweeney picked up a couple of influential coaches that can recruit the talent to come to Riordan. I admire these kids and the Riordan coaching staff for having the courage to step up and rebuild this program from the ground up. This will be a 4-5 year process. If the coach is ran out by parents & alumni, the clock starts again.

    • Mr. Direct says:

      The admissions director is doing his job. I guess he can sell water to a well. The athletes on Frosh have nothing to do with Sweeney. Do not credit him for that.

  14. akcoachj says:

    Plus, the Varsity has won three games and maybe could sneak a WCAL win or two. Winning four games would be progress. I know asome of the haters will say AAA teams, but if we were in a weight room and we wanted to bench 300 lbs, you may have to start working out with 135 lbs. to eventually get to your goal.

  15. Big guy 24 says:

    Akcoachj and Direct you both have good points about Riordan football. akcoachj is trying to stay positive and not judge coach sweeney but as Direct pointed out sweeney hasn’t won anywhere and his last asst D coaching job the team was bad and he was let go again. I don’t like a grown man/coach throw his kids under the bus by saying Serra’s kids were better and coaches X’s and O’s had nothing to do with it, then I guess their’s no such thing as the under dog upset. There are many good athlete’s/football players not playing for Riordan football and i’m curioius why? I pull for the 3 city teams and again like akcoachj says give the program a minute to get going and see what happens. At times its tough to stay positive but lets remember these are young men trying there hardest. Good luck city schools.

  16. CrusaderNation says:

    Two WCAL games – Bellermine and Serra the two toughest on the schedule. One is close and the other, well it was just plain bad. There are several points that need to be addressed: Riordan, SI and SH all have about the same number of BOYS. It doesn’t matter the size of the school, the boy population is what matters here. To win in the WCAL you need GOOD line play. Without a line it doesn’t matter who you have back there if you can’t run the ball. In the 49ers loss this season they lost the ability to run for some reason, and they lost that game. DLS is not really bigger or stronger, but do they execute! They also have a mindset of a winner. Do I see things I don’y like on the Riordan side of the ball – yes and I am clear about it. People laughed at the 49ers for hiring Bill Walsh, no track record but there was something there. Sweeny is a coach who instructs young men and is willing to build. He reaches out and tries to encourage students to play. Yes there is bad play calling, yes there are mistakes, but if you are winning does anyone notice. While the frosh look good, its what happens next year and the year after that will determine what happens to Riordan. You are going to have to develop a better JV team and have more students continue to want to play as well as attract more talent to reload. How many of you remember SH’s cheer 0-10 we did it again? Riordan will be back as long as the drive is there, the X’s and O’s are well executed and the Jimmy and Joe’s make it happen. It’s easy to hide behind a made up name on a blog, but if you had to sign your name, would you be so harsh? Yeah I didn’t think so. Riordan will be back. Look at the 49ers after years of being horrid.

    • IC Stars says:

      CN, that was “0 and 10 Never Again”. You’re right about DLS. They execute better than anybody.

    • Mr. Direct says:

      DLS can dominate with a smallish O-Line because they ARE stronger and faster. That’s why the have the ability to execute the coaching the receive. Sweeney does not reach out and get people to play. This is false statement. Just look at the numbers on JV and Varsity and please reference the post by wcalsf above.

      • CrusaderNation says:

        Direct let me be direct. Sweeney went out and got the SFGGR players. He was out there on Sundays shaking hands and promoting. As for the numbers, all 3 of the City schools have been facing drop offs in students wanting to play. There are several issues conspiring to make this happen: 1) SF has 100,000 LESS schoolage children since 1982; 2) CYO must play has done very little to build better athletes in the City; 3) Riordan’s JV and Varsity are thin and no matter how good the Frosh are, they need to keep a good number participating while they continue to reload; 4) in the south bay schools threy force the students to play a sport as they havre done away with formal PE; 5) DLS works because of mindset and because the students want to be there (ok its an honor to make that team) and they have tremendous alumni and parent support; 6) if you closely watch any of these games (SI, SH, Riordan) very little adjustment or creativity goes into the play calling and defensive sets; 7) and this the tough one to swallow, the sports are the support for sports are just far and away better outside the big City. Oh and I forgot to add SF kids going to Serra. When you add this up, it is a very difficult environment to win and be competitive in. While it may seem like an excuse, look at SI’s roster for the numbers NOT from SF. Its not just coaches, its a system and mindset that create winning programs.

  17. CrusaderNation says:

    Thank you IC STARS its been awhile.

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