Something has to give when the St. Ignatius and Riordan football teams meet on Friday night as both look to claim their first West Catholic Athletic League win of the season.
“We’ve emphasized all year one game is not more important than the next,” Riordan coach John Lee said. “It is important because it’s a city game and it’s a rivalry game between two city schools.”
SI (0-4) has not started WCAL play 0-2 since 2010, when it started 0-5. The Wildcats have lost their past two games by a combined 13 points.
SI dropped a heartbreaker against St. Francis last week 14-6 and it was the big play that cost the Wildcats.
St. Francis first got on the board on a 54-yard pass to Alex Andrighetto to go up 7-3. With SI still down 7-6, St. Francis running back Landon Baty broke free for a 59-yard touchdown run with 9:41 left to give the Lancers the 14-6 cushion.
SI could not get much going on offense. The Wildcats amassed just 197 total yards and struggled to throw the ball.
Junior Ryan Hagfeldt completed 12 for 36 passes for 109 yards.
“They’re still a good team,” Lee said. “Every game they’ve lost, they’ve been right in it. We’re going to give them the respect they deserve and we’re not going to look past them. John Regalia does a very good job over there so we just want to make sure we take the right approach and have our focus.”
Riordan (2-2) had a host of issues against an undefeated Archbishop Mitty team last week. The Crusaders dropped their WCAL opener 51-7 and did not score until the fourth quarter.
“We turned the ball over on downs or just turned the ball over period,” Lee said. “Something we focused on is ball control and controlling the clock.”
SI has won the past two meetings and four of the last five between the longtime city rivals and has won the last two by a combined score of 73-7.
“They’re balanced,” Lee said. “They do a lot of things well. They tackle well, they run to the ball, they hustle in all phases of the game. One of our goals is to out hustle them.”
For Riordan to overcome this recent history, it will have to be in the correct alignments, something that was focused heavily on in practice this week.
“We are really emphasizing alignment defensively and offensively,” Lee said. “We had a couple of miscues last week in formations where we weren’t in the right spots.”
Riordan vs. St. Ignatius
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: J. B. Murphy Field at St. Ignatius
LAST YEAR: St. Ignatius beat Riordan 31-0