SI, Riordan need to hold the line in football playoffs

The two city Catholic high schools in the Central Coast Section playoffs have outlooks and circumstances that could not be more different.

St. Ignatius, following its winningest season since 2006, is in the elite Open Division for the second time in school history, while Riordan, after going winless in West Catholic Athletic League for the second straight year, snuck into the Division III playoffs by winning a coin flip.

The sixth-seeded Wildcats (7-3) will head down to Salinas on Friday night to take on Monterey-area power Palma, the No. 3 seed and the owner of 11 CCS titles, including a Division IV championship in 2011.

The Chieftains (8-2) beat WCAL foe St. Francis in nonleague play, lost to currently undefeated Seaside, then went undefeated in the Monterey Bay League’s Gabilan Division to get into the Open Division playoffs.

Palma features at least two Division I college commits up front on its offensive and defensive lines, and junior running back Brandon Olivares has ran for 1,037 yards and 16 touchdowns.

“They’re a very good team,” St. Ignatius coach John Regalia said. “They’re playing championship football and went undefeated in their league, which is a good league. They’re good up front, especially, and they get off the ball well. That’s their strength.”

Riordan (3-7), the No. 7 seed in the Division III tournament, will also face a run-heavy attack in second-seeded Sobrato of Morgan Hill, which operates in a Wing T formation, on Saturday night at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill.

The Bulldogs (7-3) have rushed for 2,652 yards and 26 touchdowns this season, led by senior Miguel Redmond’s 1,135 yards, but also feature an efficient quarterback in senior Michael Bocksnick, who has averaged nearly 20 yards per completion this season and has totaled 1,386 yards and has a 15-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

“They’re trying to run the football — well, they are running the football,” Riordan coach Richard Sweeney said of Sobrato. “They are explosive on offense.”

Sweeney said that he has no qualms about the Crusaders backing into the playoffs on the strength of an undefeated nonleague season and the section’s new, weighted system that favors playoff entries for WCAL teams, but was most relieved to play a nonleague opponent in the playoffs, even though third-seeded Valley Christian likely looms if they get to the second round. Sweeney has also brought up 12 junior varsity players to increase the Riordan roster size to 36.

Prep Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

A nurse draws up a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Mission neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF expands vaccine eligiblity, but appointments ‘limited’

San Francisco expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday but appointments remain limited… Continue reading

The now-shuttered Cliff House restaurant overlooks Ocean Beach people at Ocean Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
History buffs working to keep Cliff House collection in public view

Funds needed to buy up historic building’s contents at auction

Andra Day sounds great in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”<ins></ins>
Singing soars in uneven ‘United States vs. Billie Holiday’

‘Test Pattern’ takes on timely issues, from racism to women’s health

Most Read