Football: Riordan’s season ends on the road against Sobrato in CCS playoffs

Riordan senior running back Tre’ Gunter stiff-arms a Sobrato defender on Saturday at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. (Photo by Eric Sun)

By Jeremy Balan

MORGAN HILL – The Archbishop Riordan High School football team fumbled the opening kickoff against Sobrato in the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs on Saturday night and it didn’t get much better for the Crusaders after that.

Riordan rushed for 350 yards, but committed three turnovers and turned the ball over on downs three more times in a 40-17 loss to second-seeded Sobrato at Live Oak High School.

Sobrato senior quarterback Michael Bocksnick sets to send a throw into the Riordan secondary on Saturday at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. (Photo by Eric Sun)

The seventh-seeded Crusaders (3-8) also had nine penalties for 86 yards and never cut the Sobrato (8-3) lead to single digits after the Bulldogs scored on their first two possessions to take a 14-3 lead in the first quarter.

“You cannot win games with penalties and turnovers. It’s a simple recipe,” said Riordan head coach Richard Sweeney. “That plagued us from the very first kickoff.”

Riordan junior quarterback Chris Hall had a game-high 157 yards rushing on 15 carries and senior running back Tre’ Gunter added 132 on 20 carries, but the Crusaders lacked the big-play ability to get back into the game after the early double-digit deficit. Hall had two long runs (46 and 41 yards) that set up scores, but the Crusaders didn’t have another play over 20 yards until Gunter broke off a 26-yard run with Riordan trailing 40-10 late in the fourth quarter.

After trailing 20-3 at the half, the Crusaders appeared to gain traction after the Riordan defense recovered its second fumble of the third quarter just 2 minutes into the second half.

Hall led the Crusaders on a nine-play, 70-yard scoring drive that cut the lead to 20-10 with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter, but Sobrato senior quarterback Michael Bocksnick had an answer.

Bocksnick connected with receiver Jojo Nunn for an 8-yard score just under 3 minutes later and put the game away with his third touchdown pass to Nunn on the next Sobrato possession. The final strike to Nunn was on fourth-and-goal from the Riordan 19-yard line and gave Sobrato a commanding 33-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Bocksnick finished with 143 yards on 9-of-13 passing, and rushed for a team-high 110 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

“He kept making plays and he’s done that all season,” Sobrato head coach Nick Borello said of Bocksnick. “He’s our most-dangerous weapon. He can get the ball into the hands of our other athletes and he can do things with it himself. We’re fortunate to have a player like that.”

Riordan junior quarterback Chris Hall breaks into the Sobrato secondary on Saturday at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. (Photo by Eric Sun)

While the Crusaders earned their first CCS playoff berth since 2007, they ended the season on an eight-game losing streak after sweeping their non-league schedule. Riordan equaled its win total from the previous three seasons combined, but didn’t win a West Catholic Athletic League game for the second straight season. Sweeney said after the loss on Saturday that he still needs time to fully evaluate the Crusaders’ progress this year.

“I need to take a little time to reflect and visit with my coaches,” Sweeney said. “I’m proud of the staff that we have. They’re a bunch of guys who are passionate about football and Riordan kids. We’ve come a long way, in terms of the culture of our team and the work ethic, and we won some games. We’re building a program.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
S: 10:03 – Drew Glines 6-yard run (Jose Martin-Mendoza kick)
R: 7:44 – Angel Hernandez 26-yard field goal
S: 3:23 – Glines 3-yard run (Martin-Mendoza kick)

Second Quarter
S: 5:18 – Jojo Nunn 10-yard pass from Michael Bocksnick (kick failed)

Third Quarter
R: 6:36 – Kyle Craig 2-yard run (Hernandez kick)
S: 3:54 – Nunn 8-yard pass from Bocksnick (Martin-Mendoza kick)
S: 0:53 – Nunn 19-yard pass from Bocksnick (kick failed)

Fourth Quarter
S: 8:09 – Bocksnick 37-yard run (Martin-Mendoza kick)
R: 3:15 – Chris Hall 9-yard run (Hernandez kick)

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58 Comments

  1. wcalsf says:

    I hope Sweeney takes a good look in the mirror as he reflects on the season. Interesting Sweeney does not mention being proud of his players. His quote saying it’s his coaches that are passionate about football and the riordan kids underscores his disconnect with this team/players. Time for a change in head coach. Great job Crusaders in your dedication, hard work and efforts this year!

    • wcalsf says:

      Sweeney: “need time to fully evaluate the Crusaders progress…”. Sounds like when Singletary used to say to the 49ers press “”I’ll need to go back and look at the film.”. Lol!

  2. manifest Destiny says:

    Make the decision today Riordan! Is coach Sweeney staying or are you guys going to go another direction? There is no need to think about this during the off season which started last night. The Riordan football family needs the answer NOW!! Good luck Crusaders.

  3. manifest Destiny says:

    “We won some games. We are building a program.” Two years is plenty of time for one league win. Earned their way to the playoffs? Enough is enough on Phelan. Only large all boys school in the City except for Stuart Hall!!!! This is what you get for football.

  4. Citykid says:

    Glad Mr Sweeney is proud of his “coaches”. Maybe those same coaches should help him to evaluate his players a little better so they can be put into a better position to succeed. Some of those kids look lost out there. The safety play was horrible this year and no real backup QB completely crippled them once they lost Masoli. Chris Hall is there #1receiver not the answer to quarterback the team just because he’s the best athlete. Terrible coaching if you ask me. If they hadn’t fired the last coach after one year I would say fire Sweeney but the boys need consistancy. This “we have a small team” crap upsets me too. Stop making excuses and make decisions that help the program.
    Goodbye from an Alumni and upset supporter.

  5. wcal says:

    His post game interview deflections, subtle blame sharing and claims of non-measurable progress are amazing. Briefly,
    1. The three wins this year were against teams that have a combined Calpreps rating of MINUS 6.
    2. Sobrato (13 CP rating) just dominated the game in a blowout win.
    3. The Head Coach is also the Offensive/Defensive coordinator.
    4. The “cultural” change, “work ethic” change, and “program building” are some of the most perplexing quotes I have ever read.
    5. Two years, no league wins.

  6. Mark mino jr says:

    I think it’s chicken you know what; for not putting you name on your tuff comments. But if you don’t have talent want do you want coach to do? By that i mean you only have hall and gunther its not hard to figure were the ball us goig!!!I think Sweeney should get a chance for this freshman class that dominated on every level of football! (Ask the sacred heart kids! Haa) I believe a coach should have 4 years to establish his system. I believe in riordan my blood is purple and my heart is gold let go crusaders! I went to the ccs game I was proud to see #40,41,88,7,37 didn’t quit and fought till the end be proud and hold you head up we are riordan!!

    • manifest Destiny says:

      I appreciate your sincere and die hard loyalty Mark. You played there and are a true Riordan supporter to the end. Look at the entire situation. Do Not bank the futrure on the Freshman team. They actually did not dominate on all levels. They came in 3rd. The game against Sacred Heart was unfortunate for both programs. I understand your rivalry. Do you want to keep losing like this. I am glad you support coach but please look at the situation.

      • Mark mino jr says:

        I see your points it’s all valid of course. But if this is the way we act towards our coach we how would want that job?
        -mark mino jr class of 99

        • Mark mino jr says:

          Who would want the job. I meant to say

          • Mr. Direct says:

            Then Sweeney should not want it and should resign. Please. But I have a hunch that he will not want to let this job go. He will have to be fired.

            • wcalsf says:

              Sweeney brought all of thus upon himself. He had no people skills and does not relate to his players whatsoever. Blowout losses, poor participation, lack of conditioning, monopolization of his position, no development if his players….Like Mr Direct said / Total failure!!!

    • JJ says:

      #3 didn’t look like he quit, especially when you see that vicious stiff-arm in the 1st picture.

      • Mark mino jr says:

        I also gave #3 all the respect my phone spell checked his name great season Gunter!

      • Ari Gold says:

        What a double standard! A defensive player does that and its a facemask or illegal hands to the face penalty but an offensive player does it and its a stiff arm???? I thought the rules are in place to protect the players from injury? A defensive player can equally sustain a head or neck injury this way.

        • JJ says:

          Is there a documented injury of a defensive player due to a stiff arm? Unless the offensive player grabs the facemask and twists the helmet like defensive players do, I think stiff arms should remain a part of the game.

      • Mark mino jr says:

        Fired by who has this alumnist more concerned.

  7. wcal says:

    Settle down Rocky. I don’t see any “tuff” comments. I see Alumni, parents and others having an issue with the past two seasons of poor play and no credible signs of improvement. So you feel it is a talent issue and the only talented players are the two you mentioned. Other people disagree.

    • Mark mino jr says:

      It’s a great team just that with #8 out I felt that the defense could focus on #7 and #3 that’s what I meant by talent.
      -mark mino jr class of ’99

  8. Chris says:

    Mark, not nice to mention about that game, it was filled with controversy regarding that Freshman game against SHC. Matter of fact, the Riordan Administration wasn’t happy with the way it was played either. You should mention that Riordan football has not beaten SHC for the last 5 years… I will tip my hat for the Riordan boys for continuing to play hard and giving it there all on Varsity. Yes, a coach should get at least 3 years to see his system in place.

    • wcalsf says:

      Coach Mino, respect what you have to say, but please explain:
      1. Why does Sweeney Control Offense/Defense/Special Teams? W
      No delegation to coaches whatsoever
      2. Lack of talent !? You are correct. Why is that where the past few seasons freshman rosters were 60+ players ? What happened to these players. Why did they choose not to

      • Mark mino jr says:

        It’s not coach mino everyone relax!!! My name is also mark mino and I went to riordan and I’m allowed to have my own option ok. I don’t coach at riordan I graduated in ’99

        • ARHS Stats says:

          Mark Mino, Jr. was the QB of the 1998 team.

          It is a different person, than Mark Mino ’74 who is an assistant coach on the Freshman Team

  9. wcalsf says:

    Coach Mino, respect what you have to say, but please explain:
    1. Why does Sweeney Control Offense/Defense/Special Teams? W
    No delegation to coaches whatsoever?
    2. Lack of talent !? You are correct. Why is that where the past few seasons freshman rosters were 60+ players ? What happened to these players? Why did they choose not to play? Where’s Jiday? Arenas?
    3. You got a state of the art weight room and know you have a small roster-why are the players poorly conditioned? You have 6-10 players over 6’2″ and 220lbs+ and you can’t open holes, protect the qb, the
    team gets steamrolled on both sides of the ball?
    4. Masoli’s Frosh team was promising. There’s been ZERO development in any of these players!!!
    5. Head coach not holding accountability being 0-14 in league; 1-20 the past 3! ALL the games haven’t even been close! If this was the real world, he’d be gone in a heartbeat!
    I’m a proud alumnus and very disappointed in the “program”. Only all boys school to have a floundering football program.

    • Mark mino jr says:

      It’s not coach mino same name different person that why it says jr.

    • CrusaderNation says:

      All of you have raised some good points.

      i can’t think of a coach in the last 40 years who would call offense, defense and special teams. Not even Walsh or Belichek.

      The talent question has been quite troubling. At SI and SH there seems to be a p[ride in tradition and that is why the boys keep turing out. However, that being said, JV teams just are not getting the numbers to develop a varsity and the reasons are many. We did see that with more bodies Riordan was able to run the ball, 350+ yards but they could not overcome the fumbles and turnover on dows.

      Why they dont run a modifed West Coast offense to assist Masoli in making more completions with less sacks and hurries is hard to understand.

      The truth be told how many of those 70 freshmen really played? Let’s assume hald (35). Of that number several will migrate to the Varsity, let’s say 5, that leaves 30. How many will want to play JV? That is where the problem starts. Recruiting, motivating and getting kids to workout on teir own is critical to building the program/system.

      The team needs to be built to stand for something (high power offense, ground and pound, tough defense). to give the kids a place to build from.

      Sweeney personally called each freshman and asked them to come out for football. He invited the incoming freshmen to watch spring practice at City College. Sweeney held a bbq to meet and greet as well as talk about the program and introduce the coaches. The team has lost 14 league games in the last 2 years, and some were not competitive.

      I dont know all the answers here but does publically beating on the coach make it better? How about congraulating the young men who played hard and tried every week? Let’s hope for Masoli’s senior year we can deliver.

      • Big guy 24 says:

        I would want the kids to play hard for a coach and that doesn’t seem to be happening at Riordan. Kids like Jiday-Mabry-Arenas and more won’t play for sweeney and the big question is why?? Mabry is a big time play maker, Jiday big time RB and Arenas is a big time QB and DE…Time for a change at Riordan!!

        • FBC101 says:

          I am not so sure that these “super athletes” aren’t playing football because of the Head Coach? I know for a fact that one of these kids named above, took a decent hit last year in a game that football players shake off, and he called it quits…

          They are basketball kids… Let them play basketball…

          Football is not for everyone. Continue to bring in football players, and see what happens… I think the main concern should be, Will the new Pres continue to bring in football players or will he turn them away because they are not 3.0 students…

          As for those Seniors, they played their tails off. Not the results they wanted, but they were better than the years before.

      • Mr. Direct says:

        CrusaderNation,

        Yes this is necessary to make sure he is gone. It’s all about the kids. If Crusader supporters sat silently or in blind faith and support he would be back for another season and more damage will done to the kids. Another losing season full of beatdowns and embarrassments. Yeah that helps the young men learn a lot. Congrats.

        No one cares about a meet and greet for Freshmen who are going to play football anyway. How does he treat his players? Why did he fail at getting kids that were on the fence to play when he so desperately needed them to avoid another putrid season? He is an arrogant coach and person. He minimizes talent, he does not maximize it. Look at his coaching record for the past decade. Look and see for yourself. The more authority he has with a team the worse the team is. He is no good. He should be gone.

  10. Mr. Direct says:

    This disastrous season for the Crusaders and Sweeney is finally over. Another non-competitive game on his watch. His time at Riordan should be over as well. Riordan has no other choice. They need to move forward and keeping him will only set them back. He is just not a very good football coach. Riordan must learn from this horrific hire. They should hire essentially the opposite of Sweeney for their next football coach.

    Team Record. Position
    2012 Riordan 3-8. HC/OC/DC/ST
    2011 Riordan. 1-9. HC/OC/DC/ST
    2010 Humbolt 8-3. DL
    09 Northern St. 2-9. DC/AssHC
    08 Nortern St. 1-10. DC/AssHC
    07 Northern St. 5-6. DC/AssHC
    06 Northern St. 4-7. DC/AssHC
    05 Northern St. 6-5. DC/AssHC
    04 Sch. Of Mines. 3-7. DC
    03 Sch. Of Mines. 3-7. DC

    Does Sweeney’s past decade of coaching scream winner to you? Does what he’s done at Riordan scream winner to you? It screams out quite the opposite actually. His tenure was an utter failure. But they should’ve seen this coming. This is nothing new.

    • 415BnR says:

      I agree with you 100%!!! Wonder why ARHS didnt post his scores for the past 2 years under Sweeneys watch! Its all on paper! At least win the city games SI & SH.

  11. Big guy 24 says:

    Say good bye to Sweeney now or continue to lose and go 0-7 next year. The kids don’t want to play for him period..Kids will only play hard if they feel there coach has their back and teaches right. Riordan start your search for a new coach asap or another bad year is coming in 2013!

  12. William Nicklaus says:

    For me, the biggest concern right now is the sudden disappearance of President Patrick Daly.

    Ever since he got here, so many people have been fired, and now HE’S gone under a cloud of mystery.

    What’s happening at Riordan?

    What caused him to get sacked?

    • wcalsf says:

      Daly stepping down is of a strictly personal health matter. On another note there’s been several impressive AD candidates that have recently interviewed for the open position. Based on the experience, success and skills of these candidates, Riordan’s athletic program will be going in a very good direction. Cannot say how the open President spot impacts the final decision. Let’s hope both positions are filled before year-end.

  13. MY2CENTS says:

    More importantly the long term damage to the players which is DISGUSTING!!
    Took This from a Coaching newsletter!!

    Good Coach – Bad Coach: There is absolutely no question that an athlete’s experience within her sport is almost completely colored by the type of coach she is lucky or unlucky enough to draw. A good coach will teach the athlete to love the sport. He will inspire that athlete to dream big and take risks in pursuit of that goal. He will motivate the athlete to work hard, push through pain and fatigue and bounce back from setbacks and failures. He will build trust among team members and teach each athlete to sacrifice the “I” for the “we.” A good coach will teach valuable life lessons and model these through his behaviors and interactions with the athlete and everyone he comes in contact with. A good coach will directly and indirectly change that athlete into a better, more confident, happier person. A bad coach, on the other hand will teach very different lessons. Through his treatment of his players and interactions with those around him he will turn his athletes off to the sport. He will gradually kill the athlete’s love and enjoyment of the game. He will steal the athlete’s self-confidence and energy and replace them with self-doubts and apathy. A bad coach will motivate the athlete to expend her energies in self-protection and risk
    avoidance, rather than personal excellence. He will breed jealousy, selfishness and mistrust on the team. He will snuff out dreams and make the athlete fear failure on and off the playing field. A bad coach will leave the athlete diminished and embittered. In this issue of The Mental Toughness Newsletter, we will revisit this topic of good coach – bad coach.

    Go Irish!!

  14. Concered crusader says:

    Well then purple and gold nation who should we get to lead us? Anybody got any names to throw out there!

  15. Concerned crusader says:

    We need someone who can deal with the new young athlete!

  16. wcal says:

    MY2cents. Fits the situation like a glove!
    Concerned Crusader: It is NOT our job to screen applicants or nominate people.. It is the new President and AD’s job to do it.

    • Concerned crusader says:

      Which we don’t have either an ad or president. I don’t think there is going to be time to make those hires. Then that hire wouldn’t have time to replace the coach in time for next season!

    • Golden Boy says:

      But it is your job to comain and ridicule.

  17. wcal says:

    SFPREPS invites comment as long as I conform to the forum rules. Its a good enough site for Sweeney to give an interview. And if the coach’s quotes, record, actions and performance bring to mind ridicule, then that is his issue. Riordan parents hefty 16,000 tuition and generous Alumni donations give us the right to expect better. Or those small crowds, small rosters and empty Alumni tents will get smaller and emptier.

    • Concerned crusader says:

      SFPREPS was designed to promote the athletes the compete week in and week out. Not for some parent who thinks his high school slash pro career was cut short by a so called bad coach.

  18. wcal says:

    It was designed to cover the prep sports scene. Read the About section at the top. Please feel free to point out what information you disagree with. And I might point out that there are 100′s or thousands of Concerned Crusaders worried about the football program.

  19. Citykid says:

    Enough…. The end result should always lead to progress win or lose. Losing is hard to handle for anyone, let alone young men that are in most cases still finding themselves. Coach Dozier and his freshman staff had a good grasp on the boys and actually had there respect. Get out and watch a few practices and see for yourself what the culture is around Sweeney. It takes people skills to lead young men. Sweeney has a hard hand and not sure he’s getting the best out of the boys. Not sure why it is that Dozier left and don’t want to speculate, but in reallity they did (Frosh/JV) play better for Dozier. They definitely tackled better!!
    Anyone that knows a lick about the program is concerned and knows better to say Sweeney should be afforded more time. If my memory serves me correctlly the Frosh team that Zach, Chris, Jiday etc.. played on was the talk of the WCAL 2 years ago and he inherited that.

    • 415BnR says:

      I have read everyones comments and believe that you all have good points! The one thing everyone knows is that he is not the man for Riordan! If he stays no one will play for this man! Alumni is not happy! Not at all….. Hope things change for the best! We need new blood there! Someone who will motivate and can work with this new generation! The former SI Coach…. Coach Blu….. Would be the choice!

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