GALILEO HIGH SCHOOL — Laying on his back at the 20-yard line, on the only spot of sun remaining on Galileo’s North Beach field, Joseph Ale smiled.
Having won a state title in 2017, Ale missed all of last season with injury and endured an 0-7 start to his senior year.
The Lions, in beating Washington 20-8 on Friday, ended the program’s worst losing streak in a decade and did so convincingly. While they won’t be a playoff team in Lamar Williams’ first year as head coach, the win was, at the very least, a positive step.
“It feels awesome,” said Ale, easily one of the top two-way linemen in the Academic Athletic Association. “It felt really good to finally have a win.”
After losing its top six two-way players to graduation last year, along with head coach Mark Huynh and his staff, the 2019 Galileo team has more uncertainty than it’s had since the last coaching change. The Lions lost 18 straight games from the end of the 2006 season through the first game of 2009, Huynh’s first season at the helm.
Ale, though, has provided a steadying influence. Having played middle linebacker and running back over the last three weeks due to roster issues, he was back on the line on Friday and recorded eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and half a sack, along with a fumble recovery as Galileo held the Eagles (0-7, 0-4 in AAA) to 237 yards of offense.
Jalen Lee led Washington with 86 rushing yards on 17 carries, including the Eagles’ first points since the first half of the first game of the season: a 19-yard touchdown with 7:40 to go in the second quarter. He then caught the two-point conversion.
Galileo (1-7, 1-3 in AAA) answered right back, as Kobe Cabuntala hit Roberto Lee for a 74-yard pass (including 57 yards after the catch). Lee, switching back to quarterback, then ran the final three yards himself for a touchdown with 5:51 to go before the half, the Lions’ first points since a 42-6 loss to Oakland in the opening week. The PAT, though, was no good, meaning the Eagles went into halftime with an 8-6 lead, their latest lead since they were up 6-0 with 3:20 to go in the first half against San Jose-Harker on Sept. 6.
A Washington fumble on the first drive of the third quarter, though, was recovered by Yousef Elmahy, and four plays later, Kidus Samson weaved across the field and up the Eagles sideline for a 59-yard touchdown to give the Lions the lead for good.
Another Washington turnover —a fumbled pitch from quarterback Steven McKee to Daniel Moon — was recovered by Ale, and led to a reverse from Abdulaziz Ali to Brandon Ho for a touchdown with 4:42 to go in regulation.
Ho also returned an interception 34 yards at the end of the first quarter, but Galileo gave it right back when Lee was picked off by Kaylan Patel, who had the pick, four tackles and a pass breakup. Moon and Alan Vo also had tackles for loss for Washington, while senior Alex Reynoso had two tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
St. Ignatius 45 vs. Riordan 0: The Wildcats retained the Gil Haskell Trophy via a shutout for the second straight year, with Teddye Buchanan scoring two touchdowns, throwing for 206 yards and tallying a sack on defense. Zach Taylor-Smith threw for an 18-yard touchdown to Davis DeSouza and ran one in from 30 yards out. Jahsai Shannon ran 12 times for 58 yards and had a 19-yard reception in his third game since his family moved back to San Francisco. St. Ignatius (6-2, 4-1 in WCAL) held Riordan (2-6, 0-5 in WCAL) to just 30 yards of total offense on the day, but junior wide receiver Aden Jackson had 24 of those, seeing his first action since a scary collision in an Oct. 4 loss to Mitty led to him being stretchered off the field. Read more in our online recap.
Lincoln 35 vs. Lowell 0: The Mustangs (5-1, 3-0 in AAA) held the Cardinals (3-3-1, 1-2 in AAA) to just 89 yards of offense, as Luis Contreras had his best day of the season, rushing for 245 of Lincoln’s 380 rushing yards and scoring four touchdown on 22 carries. The Mustangs’ Andres Montoya rushed for 48 yards on six carries, while Lowell’s Brandon Nguy had 21 rushing yards on 7 carries, and Brandon Ng had 22 yards on 11 carries. The Cardinals’ Ronald Pollick had 22 rushing yards on eight carries. Read more in our online recap.
Mission 35 vs. Burton 26: The Bears (3-4-1, 3-1 in AAA) got up 14-0 on a Julian Milton punt return for a touchdown and a rushing score by Will Delaney. A Julian Neal kickoff return for a touchdown and a Rasheed Loveless pick leading to a Milton 40-yard shovel pass put Mission up 27-6 at the half, but Burton bounced back, with third-quarter touchdowns from Marcus McKinley and Samson Olomua (his second of three on the day) to cut the lead to 27-20. That’s as close as the Pumas would get, as the Bears’ Matthew Cohn took a screen pass in to score in the fourth quarter and then added a conversion. Burton quarterback Alfonzo Smith rushed 11 times for 81 yards, while McKinley ran 10 times for 33, and Olomua eight for 28. Read more in our online recap.
Sacred Heart Cathedral 7 at Serra 35: The winless Irish trailed 35-0 at halftime before one of the top teams in Northern California put their reserves in. Sacred Heart Cathedral (0-8, 0-5 in WCAL) scored in the first minute of the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from Cian Dowling.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly reported that a Washington fumble was recovered by Rehman Sheikh. It was actually recovered by Galileo’s Yousef Elmahy. The story has been corrected.