Football: Sacred Heart Cathedral fades again in loss to Serra

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior wide receiver Zhi’ir James works through the Serra defense on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Eric Sun)

By Lamonte Dewindt

Much like most of the games he has seen this season, Sacred Heart Cathedral head coach John Lee went into the locker room at halftime confident that his team was in good shape to get a victory.

This time his squad was locked in a 7-7 at the half against a Serra, but returned to the field to watch the Irish have another disappointing third quarter, leading to a 34-7 West Catholic Athletic League loss on Friday night at Kezar Stadium.

“We just have to find ways to win the third quarter,” Lee said. “That’s just been a tingle in our side.”

The Irish (1-6, 0-4) looked very much in the game going into the halftime break, as the Padres (5-1, 2-1) surrendered three second-quarter turnovers, two of which were on the Irish 1-yard line.

Sacred Heart Cathedral sophomore quarterback Logan White hurls a pass into the Serra secondary on Friday at Kezar Stadium. (Photo by Eric Sun)

The one time Sacred Heart was able to score came off a fumbled punt by Serra that led to a 38-yard touchdown pass from sophomore backup quarterback Logan White to junior wide receiver Zhi’ir James.

But due to a shoulder injury that benched starting quarterback Jerry Peralta on the first play of the game, as well as eight other players not in uniform due to various ailments, the Irish did not have the personnel available to take advantage of the momentum-changing turnovers.

“We’ve had to scale back what we can do with what we have,” Lee said. “In this league, it is so physical, and if you’re suiting up 25, 26 guys, you’re taking the risk.”

In the second half, fatigue set in for Sacred Heart and the Serra run game began to wear down the depleted Irish.

Although Sacred Heart allowed 27 points in the second half, there were many good moments for the Irish defense.

The Irish defensive line was able to make its way in the backfield on nearly every Serra passing play and the results showed. Sacred Heart finished the game with three sacks and recovered five fumbles.

Outside of the one big play early, though, the Irish offense struggled to get anything going all night.
Sacred Heart only gained 76 yard of total offense, led by James, who had 54 receiving yards and the lone touchdown.

While the field was moist and various dry balls were switched in and out the game continually, Serra head coach Patrick Walsh didn’t believe the field had much to do with the fumbles as much as poor execution.

“It was wet for Sacred Heart and they didn’t fumble five times. We didn’t execute well enough inside the [5-yard line].” Walsh said. “I tip my hat to Sacred Heart’s staff and those kids for playing like warriors tonight.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
S: 1:12 – Zack Kazakoff 4-yard run (Anthony Toms kick)

Second Quarter
SH: 11:48 – Zhi’ir James 38-yard pass from Logan White (Maxwell Tenhoff kick)

Third Quarter
S: 9:01 – Eric Redwood 7-yard run (Toms kick)
S: 2:33 – Angelo Arco 20-yard run (Toms kick)

Fourth Quarter
S: 9:46 – Kevin KcGee 2-yard run (Conversion failed)
S: 5:50 – Arco 7-yard run (Toms kick)

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  1. Turtle says:

    Hats off to the defense for playing with heart. 76 yards of total offense is never going to do it. Have to capitalize on turnovers.

  2. wcalsf says:

    Great effort Irish!

  3. TM76 says:

    The fatigue factor is going to play a bigger role as SH finishes up the season. That’s disappointing again to be in the game and lose it due to being tired and overall not having the personnel available to substitute players to give them a rest. SH plays with a lot of heart and fire, hopefully with a few breaks going their way in these last couple of games they can pull out a win. If they can execute their game plan better then ARHS does theirs,, then I believe they will win that game. Even tired they managed to produce great defensive numbers against Serra, whereas ARHS could not.

  4. mmdj says:

    even though the irish lost, I think the junior zhiir james (brother of khalil james) stepped up with little to no help from a injury depleted team. its going to be nice to see him grow as the season continues

  5. Chris says:

    Ok, athletic directors and coaches. Put SH football as a priority for the class of 2017 2018 and see how many players you can bring in the next two years as a goal. Meanwhile, move the most talented JV’s up now, they are not winning at all, get the players some real game experience and it will only improve the depth and experience for the varsity future program. The IRISH football program is not going to win consistently until you get numbers. The teams that get there with the most supplies usually win the war, General Lee, I know you know this!

    • Billy says:

      2017 2018 might be a little to optimistic.

    • in the know says:

      Chris, General Lee knows he needs the numbers. The school continues to focus on basketball and volleyball. The other issue is that there are kids that he wants in the school and the kids apply, but their test scores are quite low and they don’t have the grades. These Kids end up playing AAA football. The saddest part though is kids with these same issues yet play basketball are accepted into the school. Football is not a priority or important. Sad but entirely true.

      • Chris says:

        in the know, that is sad, surely there can be a compromise somewhere. I dont know, I dont want to lower the standards either. I dont have an answer, maybe, it is because the directors think that they can take less chances with basketball giving a kid a chance since basketball teams do not require so many players to field a team?

        • Frank Lucas says:

          Standards are already quite low son! And quit kidding yourself to say that AAA players would help SHC. The best player in the league attended SHC as a frosh and even though his team wins in the AAA he couldn’t lead them to victory over Riordan. Also, SHC will beat Riordan. While their future may be bright, their present is very dim!

          Don’t worry Chris, you will get 1 WCAL win.

          • Chris says:

            Point taken, I think SHC frosh has some talented players this year. I saw them play against Serra. They may not be Riordan all stars like everyone keeps talking about…but we will see. Numbers, we need bodies, plain and simple so the star players like Rasso can get some rest and keep playing with fresh legs.

            • wcalsf says:

              Did SHC Frosh beat Serra?

              • Chris says:

                They lost 21-6 something like that, but the 5-6 starters were injured.

              • IC Stars says:

                No, it was 25-6 Serra. Irish were running Serra off the field in the first quarter but their best running back got injured later in that quarter and left the game. Looked like it might have been a shoulder injury but I’m not positive. I didn’t see him after that. There were maybe five other players not suited-up.

                There was hardly any passing when the Irish were behind. I think you guys were right about the unimaginative play calling and the “no fun” coaching.

          • Chris says:

            Frank, I think that is why there are standards. They took a risk to take this player and give him a shot. The player could not keep his grades up. But I think your right, it will take more than AAA players. If we can grab 3 prospects that would go to Serra, 3 that would go to SI and 3 that might go to Riordan, I would settle say that is a improvement.

            • Irishiitalian says:

              The freshman actually had ten kids not suited up, 6 of them starters. They then lost four more starters during the game including their stud running back (looks like broken collar bone), their quarterback, and another full back. So by the third quarter, they had the third string quarterback playing (2nd string out hurt) and only 1 running back (5 out hurt). They also had only 1 starting linebacker left (6 linebackers out hurt).

      • just curious says:

        in the know – that is a curious statement. Do you know the amount of kids that did not gret into SHC that happen to play basketball? I do not not think it is a focus on those 2 sports. Kids are allowed to multpiple sports – trust me I did in high school. I believe it comes down to a personal choice. Either you want to play or you do not want to play. If the test scores are low they will not get in period ( there are players at other schools that did not get in )

        As for those kids who you have been accepted in SHC ( and happen to play basketball or volleyball) how are they doing. Do you know??

        by the way I know

        • in the know says:

          Not sure exactly what you are asking just curious? Coach Lee encourages kids to play multiple sports. When I played kids played sports for their school only, so multiple sport athletes were everywhere. Times have changed, and not necessarily for the better. WIth AAU and summer league teams, a lot of kids choose to play one sport year round. Practice and play games year round. Not lift weights and practice for 6 months before they play one of ten football games starting in August. There are some teams that encourage off season play, giving the impression it is necessary to be on the team during the regular season.

          As far as those basketball players that get in, (the ones that really do not have the grades or test scores) most have not lasted due to academic demands and/or behavioral issues. Those are the facts. Its sad to set these kids up for failure. Bottom line is a kid cant play sports unless they have the grades. That I do know.

  6. Billy says:

    The Irish hung tough and should be commended. D created the 5 fumbles or the score would gotten to 50.

  7. JJ says:

    You can use the same article for all of SHC’s WCAL games. same storyline. Close 1st half, then fatigue sets in the 2nd half with the other team running away. The SHC vs Riordan game should be a good one.

  8. manifest Destiny says:

    Please note all the empty seats at Kezar Friday night. Where are all the fans? I know it is not the big game but show some support. Keep the marching band. It was nice to see them at the end of the game.

    • SHC Football Alum/Supporter says:

      Happens almost every week. SHC has seemed to lost their school spirit when it comes to football. Whether it is the amount of people playing or the support it gets from the student body. People just do not care at all. Same thing happened last year. I remember the senior night against mitty. The last night those guys got to play at Kezar maybe 15 students were there. Just disappointing. Sad to see it turning in to this. Tough loss losing Jerry this week. The guys are just gonna have to hang in there. The most important thing is to have fun and laying all out there.

      • IC Stars says:

        I would have been at that game myself were it not for the pouring rain. I thought it would (and should) have been postponed.

      • IC Stars says:

        They have to push the program better. We had a rally for every game and at least 1000 people show up no matter what our record was.

  9. BeeFeez says:

    SH should let Logan White start for the remainder of the year. Playoffs are out of the question for them now. Put that kid in and get him ready for next year. He’s a talent.

  10. CA says:

    Why are there no details about the JV & Freshman games? Both won and their players also did well!

  11. Big guy 24 says:

    I agree that SHC should do a better job at getting kids to play football but first get a field, like SOTA and clean it up and make it nice and playable. I’m saying again the frosh coach is boring and no fun and the excuses of teaching are false cause he finds a group of kids and plays them only which shows its not about teaching and playing many kids. I saw the frosh of 2009 and 2010 and both teams were talented and the coach did not let both QB’s who were good throw the ball because coach said it was about teaching and yet those 2 years over 50 kids didn’t want to play anymore. SHC needs to look into why these kids don’t want to play anymore. Stop playing favoritism with certain kids and play the kids who earn the playing time period. Again I say SHC frosh football is the No fun team and that kills the program. Stop being so damn serious frosh coach and have some imagination on play calling. Go city schools.

    • Chris says:

      Yes, get that field on Gough/Turk, Joe Lang playground? Tell Park and Rec, you will maintain it and spend money on it, etc..SH doesn’thave to own it exclusively. But it will work football, lacrosse, soccer, maybe even put in a track if you want, who knows. Maybe reserve it for use 50% of the time while open it up to the community the other time.

      • in the know says:

        the same “no fun coach” in 2009 and 2010 is the same “no fun coach” now. It comes down to the kids. do they want to play or not? This os no longer CYO where everyone gets to play and no ones feelings get hurt. This is high school sports. The school is not like SI, who finds fields, throws millions of dollars to field turf it, use it for their sports and open it up to the community on off seasons and after hours. SH will never do that. They pay Westmoor for football practices, crocker amazon for football and soccer. Its a sad situation all around.

        • Chris says:

          Why not, Joseph Lang field is right down the block. It would give a place to practice instantly for maybe 3-4 sports. All SH has to do is maintain it…the city can own it if it wants, SH does not have to buy it. The community can use it too like now, softball games are played there after 7pm. The city needs money, the city can save money by eliminating a park that it has to maintain. SH put some of that money to spruce up the field as well as give it proper care? It makes sense in every way and is a win win.

    • jimmy jack says:

      yeah lighten up Coach Frank-dont be such a cop!

      • Chris says:

        I think coaching changes do have to be made as well as better practice facilities if SHC is going to compete in soccer and football. At Joseph Lang field, there are soccer and softball tournaments that go on all the time. The fact that a high school is practicing there only improves the grounds for everyone who uses it as long as SHC can volunteer and be the lead to maintain it.

      • IC Stars says:

        He was a cop. Old habits die hard.

  12. Uncle Frank says:

    Hey, whatever happened to Valentino Miles? I heard he didn’t get the type of D1 scholarship he thought he deserved and was up in the air at the end of last year. But, he had to land somewhere, didn’t he?

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