Football: St. Ignatius defense sharp in WCAL win over Mitty

The St. Ignatius defense swarms a Mitty ball-carrier on Nov. 10 at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Devin Chen)

The St. Ignatius defense swarms a Mitty ball-carrier on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Jeremy Balan

Behind a standout defensive performance and a few big plays from senior quarterback Jack Stinn, the St. Ignatius football team halted a two-game losing streak and ended the regular season with a 21-6 home win over Mitty on Saturday.

After being gashed by Bellarmine and Serra in the two weeks prior, the St. Ignatius defense allowed just 218 yards of total offense, forced three turnovers and stopped the Monarchs on fourth down three times.

Senior cornerback Albert Waters had an interception, the Wildcats recovered two fumbles and senior linebacker Noah Bull had nine tackles, but Mitty’s (7-3, 4-3) yardage total was also slightly deceiving. The Monarchs had a handful of extended runs in their option offense – the biggest, a 48-yard burst in the second quarter by running back Kyle Evans – but had 19 rushing plays of 1 yard or less, including eight for negative yardage.

St. Ignatius junior running back Elijah Dale runs through a hole in the defensive line against Mitty on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“Our defense played well and we played better [than the last two weeks],” said St. Ignatius head coach John Regalia. “We wanted to get better at stopping the run and I thought we did a pretty good job of that today.”

The St. Ignatius offense was far from spectacular, but Stinn led three scoring drives to give the Wildcats (7-3, 5-2) a 21-0 lead midway through the third quarter.

The first came on the Wildcats’ opening drive of the game after a Mitty three-and-out. Junior running back Elijah Dale did most of the work on the ground, but the ball was in Stinn’s hands on fourth-and-1 at the Mitty 28-yard line. Stinn rolled left, nearly tripped over his own feet, then hurled a lofted touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Joe Lang, who was wide open behind the Mitty secondary.

The sequence wasn’t graceful and Stinn threw an interception on the Wildcats’ next drive, but he found his rhythm on the second St. Ignatius scoring drive right before the halftime break. The senior went 5-for-6 through the air and scrambled for 15 yards on a 14-play, 77-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andrew Vollert with 18 seconds left in the second quarter.

Stinn had his most accurate game of the season amid gusting winds that battered the Sunset campus throughout, completing 8-of-12 passes for 128 yards.

“It was challenging,” Stinn said. “Especially because one way, you’re going with the wind and the other way, you’re going against it. You’re not always thinking about that when you’re about to throw the ball.”

Stinn didn’t have to throw the ball on his final score, a 20-yard scamper in the third quarter. After being flushed out of the pocket, he froze a linebacker with a pump fake, then worked through the Mitty secondary before rolling over a defender and into the end zone.

“I kinda just go,” Stinn said of his scrambling ability. “I used to think about it and I wasn’t really running too fast, so I’m just going now.”

St. Ignatius senior quarterback Jack Stinn slips away from a Mitty defender on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Stinn provided all of the scoring, but the Wildcats did not depart from their running game, despite less-than-ideal results through three quarters, and the patience paid off in the fourth.

Dale had just 50 yards on 22 carries through three quarters, but after the St. Ignatius defense stopped Mitty on downs with 5:29 remaining, the Wildcats ran 10 consecutive running plays, all to Dale, and picked up four first downs to wind the clock down to zero. Dale finished with 106 yards on 33 carries.

“We did a good job, with the 11 on the field, running the ball against a very good defensive team,” Regalia said. “They’ve held teams that run the football well to not a lot of points and not a lot of yards.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
SI: 6:16 – Joe Lang 28-yard pass from Jack Stinn (Michael Capitolo kick)

Second Quarter
SI: 0:18 – Andrew Vollert 2-yard pass from Stinn (Capitolo kick)

Third Quarter
SI: 7:31 – Stinn 20-yard run (Capitolo kick)
M: 0:47 – Daniel Mosko 18-yard run (kick failed)

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17 Comments on "Football: St. Ignatius defense sharp in WCAL win over Mitty"

  1. Looking forward to seeing where they are seeded & whether they get to play any games in San Francisco

  2. Stinn had his most accurate game of the season because his receivers didn’t drop any balls. Shanagher #3 made an amazing catch in the 1st half leaping high in the air to grab a ball that looked overthrown. I think the wind gave Mitty problems (botched punt return and overthrown/underthrown passes), but SI seemed to not let the cold, gusty winds bother them. As a reward for winning, now SI has to travel to Salinas (2 hour drive?), while Mitty will play a team probably 15 mins away from their campus.

    • manifest Destiny | November 11, 2012 at 8:33 AM |

      Palma is no push over. Small school. I do not think SI has ever played Palma in football.

  3. SI proved they can win on the road during last year’s CCS run, though the competition is definitely tougher this time.

  4. How about those SI JVs. WCAL Champions!

    7-0 in league and 9-1 overall. They beat every WCAL team except Valley Christian by at least two scores. Combined with last years JV Co-Champs – the future looks bright for SI Football.

    Go Cats in CCS!

    • Unfortunately, SI’s freshman football team only won 1 game in WCAL play, wasn’t it against SHC?

      • R.U.Kidding? | November 11, 2012 at 9:07 PM |

        Yes. SI’s single WCAL Frosh League win was against SHC early in the season. Last year’s Frosh team (i.e., this year’s JV Champions) had almost the same league record (2-5) – beating only the City schools – but losing to the rest of the WCAL teams. That’s why I’m so optimistic on the program.

        SI gets a lot of great athletes that have never played football before. They teach them fundamentals as Freshman and, as the last two seasons have shown, they get them ready to play in a very competitive WCAL league. It will be interesting to see over the next few years if they can regularly compete with Serra and Bellarmine.

        • Things seem to be turning around at SI. The key is don’t bring too many kids up to varsity too fast. Case in point. Serra last year freshmen 6-1 in league. Serra JV this year 2-4-1. In the begining of year 7 soph’s brought up to Varsity. By the end 5 soph’s on varsity with only sporadic playing time for two. This depletes the JV team and tends to demoralize those kids who felt they should be brought up to Varsity. It is debatable if any good comes out of bring a soph up who rides the bench.

          Unless you are just can’t miss, keep the class together so they can grow as a class together. I only hope ARHS is listening. They can be in the hunt again if they can keep these frosh together with another good frosh class 2013.

          • SH had 5 Sophs that all played significant time. When u have 27 guys left what choice do u have. Here is hoping SH can get more football players starting next year. Having 33 guys on varsity just doesn’t cut it. This year frosh class at SH does have more talent than last year. Riordan supporters keep talking about the frosh team but only wins on varsity count. It doesn’t mean anything until they are on varsity. I’ll admit the riordan team does have good speed and size. Case in point, SH freshman almost went undefeated in basketball no one has said they will be great in the future. So yes, all teams are building blocks to the future.

            • I saw the first quarter of the Bellarmine frosh game. Those guys play like the varsity. Easy to see that they’re well coached.

              • irishiitalian | November 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM |

                Not only was Bellarmine very good, they also showed a lot of class. Coaches pulled starters half way through the second quarter and played reserves rest of way. Have to give Irish credit for playing through the game since they had 12 players out hurt including 7 starters. No doubt that Bellarmine would have won the game if all of them played, but it would not have been so easy. Things were so bad that they were down to their 5th string kicker by the end of the game.

      • manifest Destiny | November 12, 2012 at 8:29 AM |

        The one WCAL win for the SI Freshman did come against Sacred Heart. Three point margin on a late field goal at Kezar. They did play Riordan close at 13-10 and lost to Mitty down there 29-27. Serra , Bells and Valley Christian beat them hands down without question. St. Francis was close. SI Freshman have two good quarterbacks that can be a force in the future.

        The above mentioned SI JV 9-1 team had a tough Freshman season also.

  5. Please post any further playoff comments on the new playoff post.

  6. NorCalSportsFan | November 11, 2012 at 9:39 PM |

    Last time St Ig and palma played was in 2006…Palma won, 41-21 in San Francisco…they lost to paly in 3 OT the first year Paly went to state biwl. They didn’t have a rematch.

    Palma started the season slow…lost 5 starters that sat out for other sports (3 three year starters…a 6-7 200 lbs 4.60 40 receiver who will be playing basketball at UCLA, a 6-4 TE who will be playing baseball at St Mary’s and a two ay starter that will be playing college baseball…plus to top jrs sitting out for basketball and baseball…they turned things around after slow start…still have 3 D1 prospects on line…a very good QB and two very good RBs… Salinas Sports Complex has grass and is slow and can get muddy in the rain…Should be a good game

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