Football: Sacred Heart Cathedral implodes in third quarter against Valley Christian

Valley Christian senior running back Ryan Severson breaks away from the Sacred Heart Cathedral defense on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Tawnya Gray)

By Matthew Snyder

Sacred Heart Cathedral’s football team endured a brutal tale of two halves against Valley Christian of San Jose in a West Catholic Athletic League matchup on Friday night at Kezar Stadium.

After heading into halftime down just 8-0, the Irish conceded 35 points in long, one-sided third quarter that powered the Warriors to a 43-0 victory.

“The wheels came off in the second half,” said Sacred Heart head coach John Lee. “The special teams, on the first two kickoff returns, puts us inside our own [10-yard line] . . . So, when you start with your backs against the wall, it’s not very easy to dig out of that hole.”

Valley Christian (3-3, 1-2), coming off a heartbreaking 28-27 loss to St. Francis last weekend, racked up 314 rushing yards on 40 carries, and while quarterback Jay MacIntyre had just two completions in the game, both went for touchdowns in the third quarter.

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior quarterback Jerry Peralta winds up for a throw against Valley Christian on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Tawnya Gray)

The Warriors’ defense forced four Sacred Heart (1-5, 0-3) fumbles in the game, including three in the second half. They held the Fighting Irish to just 129 total yards of offense.

“We just came out with a different intensity in that second half,” said Valley Christian head coach Mike Machado. “I thought we were flat to start the game, but our guys came out and executed what we’d adjusted at halftime. That’s the big thing we always talk about – finishing, and that’s what we did. We’re a young team, but the young guys are growing up and tonight I thought we took a step in the right direction.”

Junior Brett Rasso, Sacred Heart’s top playmaker on offense and defense, entered the game with what Lee described as a “bum [right] elbow,” and couldn’t get going against the Warriors defense. He finished with 36 yards rushing on 11 carries and 50 yards receiving on three receptions.

The Irish hovered around midfield with their first two offensive drives of the game, and couldn’t punch past the Warriors’ frenzied defense, which employed a dizzying array of blitz packages to put pressure on senior quarterback Jerry Peralta, who had several passes batted down by defenders.

“We were moving the ball consistently,” Lee said. “Then they made a couple of adjustments, and we had no one to counter their [linebackers] coming off the edge, and that caused some problems.”

Despite the offensive struggles, Sacred Heart’s defense provided a huge momentum push in the first half, withstanding a 16-play Valley Christian drive that spanned two quarters and almost 11 minutes of game time.

On fourth-and-6 at the Irish 10-yard line with 4:10 remaining in the half, a swarm of Sacred Heart defenders crashed the line of scrimmage to meet powerful Valley Christian running back Kirk Johnson, allowing him just three yards and forcing a turnover on downs.

Valley Christian senior running back Ryan Severson had two of the third-quarter touchdowns, as well as the Warriors’ lone score in the first half, and finished with 145 yards on 13 carries.

The Irish picked up just one first down during five offensive drives in the third quarter and failed to get past midfield.

Conversely, Valley Christian scored on all four of its drives in the third quarter, and defensive lineman Cody Campbell returned a fumble 27 yards for another touchdown.

Scoring Summary

Second Quarter
VC: 0:28 – Ryan Severson 20-yard run (Jay MacIntyre run on conversion)

Third Quarter
VC: 9:46 – Severson 1-yard run (kick failed)
VC: 8:41 – Brandon Alexander 32-yard pass from MacIntyre (Severson pass from MacIntyre on conversion)
VC: 6:13 – Severson 56-yard run (Kody Kroenig kick)
VC: 3:39 – Tyler Chaboya 14-yard pass from MacIntyre (Kroenig kick)
VC: 3:23 – Cody Campbell 27-yard fumble recovery (Kroenig kick)

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52 Comments

  1. TM76 says:

    Dismayed at hearing about Rasso’s injury, which is not surprising given the number of plays he is on the field for. Hope he can recover and finish up healthy and ready for baseball.

    • Ari Gold says:

      Didnt I safely guess that this was going to be the result to Rasso? Sure coach says he needs him on defense more but of course hes going to stick him at RB and get him continuously pounded. He did this with Christon Rance c/o ’96. Rance who earned a scholarship to Arizona State as a safety was trotted out there at RB by the older Lee and he was a pinata for the opposing defenses because Lee’s called the same running play over and over again.

      • Chris says:

        Yep, you were right, hate that you were right..lol..but the sadder point is there are other athletes that can play at SH that choose not to play football. Its time to market football and plan for more success in the future. Success breeds success, you can’t leave it to chance to get a good football team every year.

        • JJ says:

          Is that why Taylor Johns didn’t play football his senior year? SHC would’ve been hard to beat with a big target like Johns at WR or tight end.

          • in the know says:

            Taylor Johns didn’t want to play football! Coach Lee asked him multiple times, year after year to play, told him he could help the team and be an asset. He always said no. He wanted to Focus on basketball. Basketball players want to focus on basketball. Game playing year round, not mostly practice and ten games a year like football. So to say Lee discourages players to play other sports is an out right lie. In fact he is one of the only coaches, if not the only coach that tells the kids to play multiple sports.

        • Ari Gold says:

          Jason Hill was a better basketball player but became a stud WR at Wash St. and made the NFL. Kevin Greene if he was 6’9, probably would be a college basketball player, but since he’s only 6’5, made a better football player.

          With Taylor Johns, he might have been listening to other suggestions. No doubt he’s a very good basketball player but if he put in the time and stayed with football probably wouldve been a very very good TE in college.

          • jbalan says:

            I agree that Johns could have been a D-I football player, but from my many talks with him, the impression I got was that he loved basketball more than anything else. Can’t fault a kid for doing something he loved over something he didn’t like as much.

            • Chris says:

              JB, just wondering, did you get a chance to ask Taylor Johns why he came to SHC or transferred as s sophomore ? Was it the school, the players, or a friend he knew, or Coach B? I think he is from East Palo Alto, he could have easily ended up at St. Francis or Serra for that matter.

              • jbalan says:

                I remember talking to him about it, but I don’t remember the specifics. I’m pretty sure I remember him saying he was from the Filmore, though.

              • Chris says:

                Thanks JB…he went to a Prep school in Palo Alto I think first.. Just looking on how they found a great player to come to the school. They can take that same intensity and find some football players. They don’t have to be 6’5 but I would be happy if they were all 6’0 and 275lbs.

  2. bill blow says:

    when in the last several years has sacred heart not been flat/flattened coming out for the third quqrter

    • IC Stars says:

      Try last season, blow. Add 2010 and 2008.

      • bill blow says:

        wasn’t it 8-0 @ the half-that was painful this is a program in crisis

        • IC Stars says:

          It would have been 0-0 at the half had the QB not fumbled after gaining 4 yards with two minutes left. I thought it would be a defensive game all the way until that late score and the first score of the third quarter. I didn’t bother to see the rest after that. I wouldn’t say they’re in “crisis mode”. There’s talent, just not numbers.

          • JJ says:

            It didn’t help that one of SHC’s best players got injured, Hewitson. I watched the O’Dowd game and they should’ve won that game. I think if he wasn’t cramping up, he would’ve still been playing today because he overcompensated with his hamstring cramping and didn’t brace his fall when he broke his collarbone. I guess that what happens when you have a short bench. I know there are talented football players on SI that don’t get playing time, so if they want to get more PT, they should transfer to SHC or Riordan.

  3. Turtle says:

    Coach lee says; we were moving the ball consistently, then they made adjustments.Really? What game was he watching! What adjustments have the Irish made this season? Try giving the ball to Micheal Wallace once in a while. Peralta up the middle is getting old.

    • bill blow says:

      agree completely coach Lee works hard but maybe its time for a change-Kenny Peralta?

      • bill blow says:

        Dan Hayes? @ SH

        • wcalsf says:

          You wish. That’s not going to happen…Dan Hayes would likely go back to his alma mater, Archbishop Riordan,

        • Chris says:

          Isn’t he the athletic director at City College and the offensive coordinator at CCSF. Well, if CCSF goes bankrupt or they toss the football program he could apply to be head coach why not? Plus with young Logan White to work with, why not?

          • JJ says:

            If CCSF goes bankrupt, wouldn’t hiring CCSF’s head coach (George Rush) be a better fit? All those championships he won at the JC level. I doubt CCSF would go bankrupt, though, but u never know…

      • Chris says:

        Would Ken Peralta come coach at his alma mater? I would think if he did, he would have by now. His son is playing now..lol. But you never know?

        • Chris says:

          If Ken Peralta was the head coach, he could call the plays and John Lee could be the defensive coordinator. That could be a winning combo on varsity. But if this was the case, John Lee would most likely step down and coach JV’s…might not be a bad idea or wishful thinking..

          • in the know says:

            Peralta has already coached at SH. He coached John Lee when he wasqa player. He is the frosh coach at Marin Catholic, stepped down as Varsity head coach to watch his son play. Doubt he will leave his teaching and coaching job at Marin Catholic.

          • Ari Gold says:

            My choice actually was already coaching at SHC and he has the offensive schemes that can spell fun and points on the scoreboard…. Phil Ferrigno. I guarantee it if SHC offered him, he would leave Lincoln in a heartbeat.

            • jbalan says:

              I don’t think it’s a slam dunk Ferrigno would jump at a WCAL job. He’s a tenured teacher SFUSD, not just a football coach.

            • ARHS Stats says:

              Plus Phil Ferrigno is another Alumni of Archbishop Riordan, along with Dan Hayes

              • Ari Gold says:

                What are you saying Pat? A Riordan alum wont go to SHC in any capacity? See Nick Stanfel.

              • ARHS Stats says:

                I never said, that Riordan Alumni would refuse to work at SHC.

                I am saying that Riordan Alumni would probably think about coaching at Riordan before they decide on coaching anywhere else.

                Especially if they already have coaching jobs and teaching jobs at other schools.

              • Ari Gold says:

                And thats why i posed it as a question, not a statement. I wanted you to clarify. Private school teachers are on year to year contracts anyways, so one bad end of year evaluation by their students sends them packing.

                I know you love your purple and gold but what if SHC offered you 2x what you make now to do the same job? Will you trade your purple and gold for green, white, and blue?

  4. Legato says:

    I’ve watched a number of SH games this season & have been impressed with the effort, if not the outcome. Friday night I was proud of their effort & thoroughly disgusted with the coachi. My disgust has nothing to do with coach Lee personally but rather his lack of offensive creativity (the defense is quite good but on the field too much) I know numbers are low & personnel is limited but the coaches I’ve spoken with suggest there are things that can & should be done differently.
    Thinking it’s time for some new “coaching blood”. Someone who gets the numbers up by allowing kids who play other sports (basketball) to come out, who has a creative offense & who gets the program turned around.
    Coach Lee has had some decent years but this program is going to crash & burn unless something is done.
    All of this said, I do & will continue to support these young men as they show both character & heart. Hopeful that the administration will take a closer look.
    Go Irish!

    • CrusaderNation says:

      Isn’t John Lee the same coach who had a championship team? He had better talent and could control the line of scrimmage. SH and Riordan have the same issue(s) – too few players (real ball players) and too many going both ways. As for creativity on offense if you are controlling the line what are you going to do? Bellermine beat Serra at Serra Saturday so I guess the Serra coach will have to go. In the last two weeks I have visited the city teams, seen them practice and seen them play. The young men on the field are doing their best, but there is just not enough at Riordan and SH right now. Its easy for anonymous people here to be critical, but we are not out there 6 days a week trying to win. The 3 city schools are at a disadvantage and will have to make program, recruiting, and academic shifts if they are going to compete. The talent level is not there and football requires quite a bit to be competitive. Let’s hope SH and Riordan find the athletes to turn it around.

      • Chris says:

        Crusader Nation, I dont know that much about Riordan, but I do know that at SHC having a good football team is sporatic at best, it seems like 1out of every 4 years. Yes, John Lee has coached some good teams and led the IRISH to success some years. However, it was more of a fluke that we had guys that wanted to play those years. If you look at the program numbers currently on Varsity, JV, Frosh, the football teams will definitely need more guys to compete in the future against WCAL squads. So the question is, what is SHC doing to bring in more guys to play football? Are they establishing closer practicing rights at the parks for some of the teams of football? Are they actively doing all they can to bring the numbers up to market football to prospective athletes like they do basketball? I think John Lee’s play calling is suspect sometimes but that is easy to say after the fact. However, what is true is with the current QB who can throw, he will have to pass more and hopefully get more creative.

      • in the know says:

        To say Lee does not allow mulitple sports athletes (basketball players) to play football is ridiculous. Most kids that play basketball just want to focus on one sport. This is not decades ago when kids played multiple sports. With AAU basketball, club baseball, etc these kids want to play MORE GAMES. There isn’t a club football team. To a 14-17 year old kid, the thought of lifting weights and running from February until June without touching a football, then working out the entire summer without playing a game until the end of August seems like a waste of time. It goes back to the “me” generation and instant gratification. They can practice basketball and play games year round. Think about it. That looks more appealing to a kid. It goes back to really wanting to play football. Kevin Greene started playing football his Junior year. Zac Tapel played both sports all four years. These are kids that are dedicated, disciplined and have heart.

        Thank you Chris for acknowledging that the coaches are out there six days a week, plus Sundays at home getting ready for the next game. It is easy to be critical. They beat themselves up and if know one believes that, you really do not know coaching.

        The administartion needs to step it up and stop loading their always winning teams, basketball and volleyball. They also need to understand that Riordan is in an upswing. They are aggressively going after kids that would normally go to SI or SH. The majority of kids from St. Brendans went to RIordan this fall. Those athletes are going to RIordan. SH needs to wake up and relaize they will soon be the third choice for boys. Pat Daly at Riordan likes to win, and will do anything to win. Give Riordan a few years, the freshmen coming up will be a powerhouse when they get to Varsity.

        The changes at SH should be from the top, starting with the President, next Principal, the other made up jobs and of course the two weak spineless athletic directors. Its a feeding frenzie put there for male athletes. SH will be the new GLEE, with majority girls. Boys have taken a back seat for some time now.

        • Chris says:

          Thanks in the know, I am certainly not trying to slam John Lee because I know he has sacrificed a lot for IRISH football the last ten years. His job is has never been easy due to many factors. However, he has his faults and I watched IRISH football, mainly the play calling. I hope the athletic directors understand what is going on, football is a sport that needs bodies. If you are going to play in the most competitive league in California you can not have 30 guys on your football teams. So if nothing changes, and the admin and the coaches stay the same, the least they can do is HELP the football team get strength in numbers and actively talk to the young freshman that might go to another school to play. Surely, some sons would rather play than sit on the bench at another school. 30 guys on varsity is pathetic, 30 guys on Jv’s, again pathetic, and 38 on freshman. We can change this, as an alum, I expect better and want improvement. Hear me, Joanne and Phil Freed, I am a donor to SHC. Thanks Jbalan for letting us have a forum.

    • Chris says:

      Well said, agree. If SI and RIordan can 60+ guys coming out for freshman football, there is no reason, SH can not have at least 50. I don’t think that is asking to much to get 50 guys who want to try football at the freshman level.

  5. Big guy 24 says:

    I agree that its easy to second guess play calling but damn its like the whole league knows what SHC is running before Coach Lee calls the plays.for the kids. They need to let the QB’s at the frosh and Jv levels throw the ball so they are ready for varsity football and be able to throw the ball as well as run the ball. I watched the frosh play in 2009 and 2010 with some good talent and running backs and QB and the offense was run right, run left, run middle. No tight end pops or slants or streaks, SHC=no fun football and kids don’t want to work hard all week and play boring football at game times. I know Taylor Johns and Josh Fox well and at 6ft5 each they told me they weren’t being used at all. Taylor and Josh said it was boring and thats why they didn’t want to play. Yes they loved hoops more but they should have been 2 sport players. In my opinion Coach Lee gives his heart and soul to the irish football program but its time for a change or move coaches around and get a good frosh coach who brings the energy with a smile who can relate to these kids. I hope the best for the 3 city schools. And SHC should get rid of Momono and Freed=need new blood and energy.

  6. Lance says:

    Come on Jeremy, everyone like’s a Seinfeld reference now and then.

  7. Alumni says:

    They should have utilized WR targets Jeivon Parker and Craig Filamor last year.

  8. IRISH 80"s says:

    Ari Gold and Turtle you two are complete “TOOLS” If you guys are such football experts why don’t you two grab a whistle and donate your time and help coach at SHC. That’s right! It would cut into your XBOX and your ESPN time where you clowns get your football knowledge. You two are either former pine riders that coach Lee coached or two parents that think your kids didn’t get a fair shot. You put the best players on the field to give you the best chance to win. If that means Rasso is on the field most of the game that’s life. Yeah he should rotate some more kids but you use what you have and that’s not much. I wish he would throw the ball more but you know what. He’s with these kids six days a week and I think he knows their ability the best. So take your EBOX playbook and go ask coach Lee if you can be his “O” coordinator

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