Serra ran out to a 27-0 halftime lead against St. Ignatius before cruising to a 47-21 victory in San Mateo. The Padres had six different players score a rushing touchdown as senior Eric Redwood had 227 rushing yards. The victory assures Serra no worse than second place in the West Catholic Athletic League.
Scoring summary: In the first quarter, Serra's Angelo Arco broke through on a 33 yard touchdown run while promising sophomore Kava Cassidy had a 3 yard scoring run to give the Padres a 14-0 lead. Anthony Toms converted two field goals that complemented quarterback Zack Kazakoff's 4 yard touchdown run to give Serra a 27-0 lead at the half.
The lone score in the third quarter was a 30 yard interception return by Wildcat Charlie Ford to cut the deficit to 27-7. St. Ignatius scored first in the fourth quarter with an Albert Waters 1 yard run as the Wildcats trailed by two scores. But SI got no closer as Serra added rushing touchdowns of 1, 12, and 32 yards while St. Ignatius passed for a 3 yard score to conclude the game at 47-21.
Unit Breakdown: Serra had six different players rush for touchdowns as the team had 411 yards rushing. Kazakoff had one nice deep throw to setup a late first half field goal but his arm was not needed for this game. Seniors Arco and Redwood are a solid tandem but the Padres will return sophomore Cassidy and junior Kevin Mcgee for next season.
The Wildcats went to the air game as quarterback Jack Stinn completed 14 passes out of 32 attempts for 146 yards. Stinn led the team in rushing as well with 52 yards. The offense was never in sync and had to rally from a huge deficit that made the play calling even more difficult.
Defense: Serra allowed St. Ignatius to get some first downs on their first two drives of the first half that did not lead to any scores before the unit forced three and outs on the final three possessions of the half. The Padres did not give up any big plays and forced the opponent to drive the ball down the field. The secondary allowed less than 50 percent in completions while the front line surrendered only 69 yards rushing on 22 carries.
The Wildcats defense caused the only two turnovers of the game but that was not enough to offset the 470 yards in total offense. Aside from the turnovers, the defense could only force one punt while the Padres scored on eight different possessions. The team has given up 82 points in the two consecutive losses to Bellarmine and Serra.
Special Teams: Serra made its only two field goal attempts but did miss one PAT. The kickoff and punt return games did not produce anything noteworthy. Serra recovered a key onside kick in the fourth quarter to stem any Wildcat rally.
Next Steps and Analysis: Serra hosts St. Francis next week. The Padres running game will be difficult to slow down and the defense looks balanced. Serra should make another deep run into the postseason.
St. Ignatius lost the battle for first place last week against Bellarmine, lost the battle for second place this week against Serra, and will play for third place against Archbishop Mitty next week. The defense will have to put up a more spirited battle against Mitty and in the postseason as a whole. The offense has the weapons to be balanced but cannot succeed when trailing heavily.