Semifinal wins by St. Ignatius, Sacred Heart Cathedral set up football showdown

Clarissa Villanueva/Special to The ExaminerKey points: Sacred Heart Cathedral senior quarterback Jack Harrington runs in a two-point conversion against Christopher in the CCS Division III semifinals.

The Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Ignatius football teams are obviously quite familiar with one another, having met once during each regular season for the past 118 years. But now, the ancient rivalry is set to go to a new level.

With Sacred Heart’s 42-33 win over top-seeded Christopher and St. Ignatius’ stunning 43-42 victory over Valley Christian in the Central Coast Section Division III semifinals, the schools will meet Saturday with a section championship on the line. The schools have never met in the CCS playoffs and each school has one section crown to its credit. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica.

In its semifinal win, Sacred Heart’s Valentino Miles had a night to remember. He totaled 143 yards rushing on 26 carries, gained 133 yards on five receptions and scored all six of the Irish’s touchdowns.

“The touchdowns don’t matter. It was all about getting the win,” Miles said. “It was a good team effort. I just happened to be the one who got in the end zone.”

As for St. Ignatius, quarterback Jack Stinn found senior tight end Travis McDow for an 18-yard score with 30 seconds remaining and also hit McDow on the ensuing two-point conversion to cap off a wild game.

“As a senior, it feels weird when you are put in a position [where] your season could be over and what are you going to do to make it last,” said McDow, who finished with six receptions for 89 yards. “That’s what the mentality was for the whole team and that is what helped us through this.”

Meanwhile, a pair of San Mateo County schools will square off for the CCS Division I championship on Saturday after victories in the semifinals over the weekend.

Led by 226 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Washington-bound Erich Wilson, Serra rolled past Milpitas 49-28. The game was tied 21-21 at the half, but the Padres blew things open after the intermission.

Serra’s foe in the title game Saturday at 3 p.m. at Terra Nova High School will be Menlo-Atherton, which crushed Salinas 49-14.

Cameron Moody led M-A with 232 yards rushing and three scores.

Jeremy Balan, Ryan Kuhn and Dylan Kruse contributed to this report.

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