NEWS

St. Francis beats St. Ignatius 21-6


MOUNTAIN VIEW — St. Ignatius went into Friday’s game at St. Francis having scored over 30 points in each of its last three games, 28 or more in its last four.

The Wildcats managed only two field goals against the Lancers and St. Francis came out on top, 21-6, in a West Catholic Athletic game.

“That’s a very good football team that’s scored a lot of points so I’m very happy with the way the defense played tonight,” St. Francis coach Greg Calcagno said.

St. Ignatius used two quarterbacks — Soren Hummel and Brandon Mann — and they combined to complete 14 of 37 passes for 94 yards.

“Our secondary played great,” Calcagno said of Luke Wall, Sefanaia Alatini, Joseph Paul Payer and Mack Mrowka.

St. Ignatius' Shane Molinari (29) runs for yardage while being dragged down by St. Francis' players during the 1st half of the St. Ignatius at St. Francis WCAL high school football game at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Thien-An Truong for Bay Area News Group)
St. Ignatius’ Shane Molinari (29) runs for yardage while being dragged down by St. Francis’ players during the 1st half of the St. Ignatius at St. Francis WCAL high school football game at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Thien-An Truong for Bay Area News Group) 

St. Ignatius was limited in the running game due to injuries to Jarious Hogan, who didn’t play at all, and Cameron Jones, who rushed for 36 yards on six carries in the first half before sitting out the second half.

“Credit goes to their defense, but we didn’t execute either,” St. Ignatius first-year coach Lenny Vandermade said. “We dropped passes, didn’t go through the correct reads, didn’t block the correct guys. When you do that against a good team you’re not going to score.”

On defense, the Wildcats focused on containing the St. Francis power running attack in the form of Kingston Keanaaina, who went into the game averaging 117 yards rushing per game. They “held” him to 84 yards on 17 carries, although Keanaaina did break a scintillating 84-yard punt return for a touchdown. 

St. Francis' Kingston Keanaaina (2) runs for yardage during the 1st half of the St. Ignatius at St. Francis WCAL high school football game at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Thien-An Truong for Bay Area News Group)
St. Francis’ Kingston Keanaaina (2) runs for yardage during the 1st half of the St. Ignatius at St. Francis WCAL high school football game at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Thien-An Truong for Bay Area News Group) 

But quarterback Aaron Knapp showed that if opposing defenses are going to sell out against the run, that he can burn them through the air. Knapp completed 17 of 23 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, both to Perrion Williams, who finished with eight receptions for 103 yards.

“We built a connection over the summer car-pooling everywhere,” Knapp said of his relationship with Williams. “He did a great job tonight, I felt like we finally clicked.”

St. Francis' Perrion Williams (10) scores a touchdown during the 2nd half of the St. Ignatius at St. Francis WCAL high school football game at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Thien-An Truong for Bay Area News Group)
St. Francis’ Perrion Williams (10) scores a touchdown during the 2nd half of the St. Ignatius at St. Francis WCAL high school football game at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., on Friday, October 6, 2023. (Thien-An Truong for Bay Area News Group) 

Both St. Ignatius field goals came on short fields after fumbled punts. On the first occasion at the start of the second quarter  St. Ignatius recovered at the St. Francis 12. Two runs by Jones moved the ball to the 4 where a third-down pass fell incomplete. Odhran Kenny came on to kick a 22-yard field goal for the first score of the game.

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