Prep Roundup: Sacred Heart Cathedral gets revenge, WCAL, AAA and CCS cross country runners advance

Central Coast Section Playoffs — Sacred Heart Cathedral 20 @ Live Oak 0: Exactly a year before Sacred Heart Cathedral’s first-round playoff game against Live Oak on Saturday, the Acorns dismantled the Fightin’ Irish run defense, rushing 48 times for 360 yards, unceremoniously bouncing Sacred Heart Cathedral from the playoffs in a first-round game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.

“Last year’s game kept me up many nights,” said head coach Barry McLaughlin. “I’d say I’ve woken up at two, three in the morning, heart palpitating, thinking about Live Oak, when they were running power left on us a year ago at Kezar.”

Thanks to the smoke and ash from the Camp fire in Butte County, Saturday’s first-round Central Coast Section game was moved twice. On Monday, Sacred Heart Cathedral was on a bus, 20 minutes from Live Oak, when the game was postponed for the third time.

After another week of practicing in the school gymnasium, the Irish held the Acorns to half of their seasonal average for yards per game, limiting them to just 16 yards on the ground in a resounding 20-0 win.

Running back Anthony Heard rushed for 108 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns, but the star of the day was the defense. In the second quarter, Kelekolio Mateo dropped punter Caleb Ojeda at his own 2-yard line, setting up a touchdown pass from Cian Dowling to Danilo Ruiz. Evan Dere came up with a strip-sack fumble with 1:28 left in regulation, and the Irish sealed the win with a Dowling touchdown pass to Levar Watkins Jr. for a 22-yard touchdown.

Sacred Heart Prep will host Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the CCS Open Division III football semifinals. Read more in our online recap.

Open Division 3 CCS Playoffs — St. Ignatius 7 @ Sacred Heart Prep 13: n a game where senior captain Mark Biggins went down with a head injury, the Wildcats couldn’t get much going on offense against a Gators team that allowed 13.0 points per game this season.

Biggins, who had scored on a 3-yard run to cut the SHP lead to 10-7, was hurt when making a tackle with 11 seconds left in the first half.

The Wildcats endured a challenging season against some of the biggest powerhouse programs on the West Coast, and won three of their final four to sneak into the playoffs as an at-large team. Read our full recap online.

Open Division 2 CCS Playoffs — Serra 58 @ Leland 14: The No. 5 seed Padres (7-4) advanced to the semifinals next Friday against WCAL rival and top seed St. Francis as Nate Sanchez and Malakai Rango each scored three touchdowns before halftime. The last time Serra took on the Lancers, they suffered their worst home loss in league play since the formation of the WCAL.

SF Section Cross Country: The San Francisco Section is sending a glut of qualifiers to the state cross country meet, despite smoke from the Camp fire in Butte County preventing the Section from running its finals on Monday due to poor air quality.

The individual boys runners who will advance to state based off of qualifying marks hit during the season are Noah Battaglia, Ian Lawrence, Zachary Parker, James Holcombe, Norton Choy, Beck Johnston, and Andrew Blelloch from Lowell and Jamison Smallwood from Burton.

Girls who will advance to the state meet include Jenna Satovsky, Elizabeth Holcombe, Emi Steedman, Michelle Wong, Paloma Suarez-Davila, Charlotte Greenhill, and Juliana Chen of Lowell and Freya Wehrheim and Maia Piomelli of Galileo.

SF Section Girls Tennis: The team champion of the section, Lowell, defeated Oakland Section champion Oakland Tech 7-0 in the CIF NorCal Tournament first round November 14 at the Bay Club in San Francisco. The Cardinals will advance to the quarterfinals on Nov. 30 at the Broadstone Racquet Club in Folsom.

WCAL Water Polo: St. Ignatius had several of its water polo standouts named All-League. The boys, who finished 15-7 only to be bounced from the CCS Open Division playoffs 9-5 by Valley Christian, had one first-teamer, senior utility player Alex Peterson. Senior goalie Paul Gouchon and senior center forward Gianluca Calgiatrone made the second team, along with a pair of senior Serra drivers in Andrew Robertson and Tyler Martin.

Sophomore right-handed driver Colby Paine of the Wildcats earned Honorable Mention, as did the Padres’ senior center defender James Mirt.

On the girls’ side, St. Ignatius’s junior utility player Betsy Wooler earned first-team honors, while sophomore utility players CeCe Paine and Lucia Sarimsakci were named to the second team. Senior right-handed driver Katie DeBenedetti earned honorable mention recognition.

CCS Cross Country Championships: St.Ignatius’s girls cross country team finished first in the Central Coast Section Division 3 team competition, advancing to state. After three postponements, both Sacred Heart Cathedral cross country teams also qualified for state — both the boys and girls finished second in Division 3.

The Wildcats had a pair of top-10 finishers in the girls race, with sophomore Evie Cohen finishing fourth (19:51.5) and senior Isabel Lozito finishing sixth (20:02.2). St. Ignatius also saw sophomore Alicia Helmer finish 11th (20:19.0), sophomore Clare Milby finish 17th (21:01.1) and Sinead Garrett rounding out the top 20 with a time of 21:19.3.

The Irish had three top-20 finishers in the girls race, with junior Corona Smith finishing 12th (20:20.5), junior Sabina House finishing 14th (20:38.6) and sophomore Kennedy Salvador finishing 18th (21:10.06).

In the boys’ race, Sacred Heart Cathedral had three top-20 finishers (tied with first-place Greenfield for the most in the field) and six finish in the top 30, tied for the most of any team with Greenfield. The Irish’s top finisher was senior Connor Sheridon, who finished 10th with a time of 17:23.9. Behind him was junior Sedge Greenlee, who finished 14th (17:31.7), senior Matthew Farruggio (19th, 17:38.8), senior Charlie Strella (21st, 17:43.5), senior Luke Eccles (26th, 17:57.9), freshman Ryan Dmitri (27th, 18:01.4) and senior John Soler (35th, 18:28.3).

Serra had two finishers in the top 50: senior Andrew Abbey (24th, 17:04.5) and senior Ryan Possa (42nd, 17:46.6) in the Division 2 boys’ race.

The state meet will take place on Saturday, Nov. 24, at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Ryan Gorcey

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