Six of San Francisco’s high school football teams were scheduled to take the field in Week 5, though one ended up forfeiting under controversial circumstances. Riordan won at Valley Christian for the first time in program history, while St. Ignatius suffered a blowout loss at Bellarmine and Sacred Heart Cathedral couldn’t stop Mitty in the second half. Washington overcame a key injury to defeat Oakland, while Balboa closed out non-league play with a loss at Livermore. The Standard has coverage of high school football and other prep sports around the city and the Bay Area as a whole.
Bellarmine Bells 34, St. Ignatius Wildcats 14
Calpreps.com projected St. Ignatius and Bellarmine to be in for a tight battle, but the Bells opened up a four-score lead by halftime and rolled to a 34-14 victory at San Jose City College to open West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) play. St. Ignatius (1-3, 0-1 WCAL) had no answer for Bells quarterback Parker Threatt, who had full control of the offense with Nate Escalada out injured. Threatt completed 22 of 30 passes for 219 yards, including a 13-yard pass to Colin Lakkaraju to open the scoring. Bellarmine (2-2, 1-0) found the end zone three more times before the break, all on Ben Pfaff touchdown runs. Pfaff was limited to 57 yards on 14 carries, but still managed three scores. The Wildcats scored in the third quarter on Mac McAndrews’ 59-yard touchdown pass to running back Cameron Jones and wrapped up the night with a 3-yard Gus Parker touchdown run on an end around.
Livermore Cowboys 45, Balboa Buccaneers 7
The Buccaneers finished their non-league schedule, arguably the toughest of any Academic Athletic Association (AAA) team, with a loss. Quarterback Edwin Maiava returned for Balboa (1-3) and threw an 8-yard touchdown to Lincoln transfer Omar Blanco, but Livermore (5-0) capitalized on Buccaneer mistakes to take a 20-point lead into halftime and rolled in the second half to a home victory.
Mitty Monarchs 32, Sacred Heart Cathedral Fightin’ Irish 21
Defense kept the Fightin’ Irish afloat in a first half where they failed to record an offensive touchdown, but Mitty wide receiver Danny Scudero dominated the second half as the Monarchs scored 25 straight points to win at Kezar Stadium. Sacred Heart Cathedral (2-2, 0-1) led 14-7 at halftime behind RL Miller’s pick-six and Jerry Mixon Jr.’s 97-yard kickoff return touchdown, but couldn’t stop Scudero, a Sacramento State commit, after halftime. Scudero caught a touchdown with 2:23 left in the third quarter to cut the Irish lead to a single point, then put Mitty (4-0, 1-0) ahead on the final play of the quarter with a dramatic 65-yard touchdown run that included four broken tackles. A pair of interceptions bookended Scudero’s long touchdown and led to a change at quarterback for SHC, one that yielded positive results as Aidan McGrath threw a 16-yard touchdown to Miller. Eoghan Daly’s onside kick recovery kept faint hopes alive for the Irish, but they turned the ball over on downs after a would-be Miller touchdown was incorrectly called back.
Richmond Oilers d. Galileo Lions, forfeit
The Lions forfeited to Richmond due to low roster numbers — not because of injuries, but because seven players were held out of the game by parents concerned with safety in Richmond. The loss drops Galileo to 0-4.
Riordan Crusaders 16, Valley Christian Warriors 10
The Crusaders beat Valley Christian on the road for the first time in program history and earned just their second ever win over the Warriors. Riordan (3-1, 1-0) broke a 3-3 halftime tie when freshman quarterback Michael Mitchell Jr. escaped traffic in the pocket to fire a 12-yard touchdown to tight end Jacob Kleppin, then went up two scores on Mitchell’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Jackson after the Warriors were flagged for 30 yards worth of penalties on a punt. Valley Christian (1-3, 0-1) immediately drove down to the goal line on the following possession, but Javius Redding forced a fumble that Kleppin recovered for a touchback to preserve the two-score lead.
Clinton Eke’s 2-yard touchdown run with 5:49 left cut the lead to six, and the Warriors had an opportunity to drive for the win after Marcel Leggett Jr. forced a fumble that Champ Taulealea recovered with 1:35 left, but Riordan forced a turnover on downs to end the game. The Crusader defense allowed just two completed passes all game to a Valley Christian team hampered by the absence of sophomore quarterback Jonathan Craft, who broke his ankle two weeks earlier.
Serra Padres 29, St. Francis Lancers 7
With more than 5,000 fans on hand at Ron Calcagno Stadium, the visiting Padres overcame a raucous crowd and a determined Lancer team to pull away in the second half. Junior quarterback Maealiuaki Smith threw touchdowns to Jayden Weber and Joey Villaroman in the third quarter, and Serra (4-0, 1-0) allowed just 112 yards on the night. St. Francis (1-3, 0-1) went into halftime down just 8-7 after Matt Dougherty Jr.’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Riley Long, but never made another serious threat to score. The Padres struck first on a 1-yard Jabari Mann touchdown run and Alexander Atkins two-point conversion, and they closed the scoring out with Malachi Gastrock’s 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Washington Eagles 20, Oakland Wildcats 6
Eagles quarterback James Mertz suffered a knee sprain in the first quarter, but Washington (3-1) closed non-league play out with a win. Dhiraj Gurung, who missed the Eagles’ lone loss with a leg injury, ran for two touchdowns and recorded an interception. Backup quarterback Mason Fong took over for Mertz and threw a touchdown to Ben Nguyen after Oakland (0-3) had briefly cut the lead to a 7-6.
Other Bay Area Football Scores
Folsom won at De La Salle for the second time in 10 months, beating the Spartans 24-20 on Austin Mack’s 1-yard quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal with 15 seconds left. De La Salle (3-2) has now lost four games to Northern California opponents in the last 13 months after going unbeaten against opponents from north of Fresno for 318 consecutive games.
Sean Tinsley’s 17-yard field goal with eight seconds left gave Sacred Heart Prep (4-1) a 10-7 win over Los Gatos. The Gators scored on the game’s opening drive, but didn’t score again until Tinsley’s late kick as they were plagued by fumbles. Los Gatos (2-2) struck back in the second quarter on Jake Boyd’s 27-yard touchdown to Wil Brennan. The teams combined for six fumbles, five of which went for turnovers, in the second half. All but one play in the fourth quarter was run in Wildcats territory, but SHP never broke through until the final moments after taking advantage of a key personal foul.
Elijah Walker ran for 192 yards and Wilcox’s defense stopped a potential two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter as the Chargers beat Menlo-Atherton, 21-20. Wilcox (4-0) constantly double-teamed 5-star recruit Jurrion Dickey, holding the Oregon commit to 89 yards. Dickey did catch a 35-yard touchdown to get the Bears within a point before the ill-fated try to take the lead.
Amador Valley (3-1) earned Pleasanton bragging rights with a 14-7 overtime victory over rival Foothill (2-3). The Dons scored on the first possession of OT on a 1-yard Jake Goldsworthy run, then stopped the Falcons on downs to end the game. Amador Valley blocked two field goals during regulation, including one a 25-yarder with just three seconds left in regulation that would have given the Falcons a second straight win over their crosstown foes.
Other San Francisco Sports News
St. Ignatius (10-10, 1-2 WCAL) was swept on the road by both St. Francis and Mitty, the two WCAL volleyball leaders. The Wildcats have lost six of their last eight matches, but host last-place Presentation (3-15, 0-3) on Wednesday. Sacred Heart Cathedral’s first-year head coach, Symone Mackiewicz, got her first league victory on Thursday as the Fightin’ Irish won a five-set thriller (25-27, 25-13, 25-21, 23-25, 15-9) at home over Valley Christian (9-4, 1-3). Sacred Heart Cathedral (8-6, 1-3) travels to Mitty (18-4, 3-0) on Wednesday before hosting Riordan (9-8) in a non-league contest on Friday night. The Crusaders, who are playing an independent schedule, travel to Bay Counties League West-leading University (14-5) on Tuesday.
Ethan Kassel can be reached at [email protected]