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.
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.”
S: 1:12 – Zack Kazakoff 4-yard run (Anthony Toms kick)
SH: 11:48 – Zhi’ir James 38-yard pass from Logan White (Maxwell Tenhoff kick)
S: 9:01 – Eric Redwood 7-yard run (Toms kick)
S: 2:33 – Angelo Arco 20-yard run (Toms kick)
S: 9:46 – Kevin KcGee 2-yard run (Conversion failed)
S: 5:50 – Arco 7-yard run (Toms kick)