Ditka versus Walsh. Harbaugh versus Carroll. Sweeney versus Saban. Janda versus Calcagno. The battle of great coaching minds continued this Holy War, as the Bellarmine Bells (1-0 in league) looked to extend their win streak against the Saint Francis Lancers (1-0 in league) to 12. The Lancers broke the infamous streak, toppling the Bells 21-12.
“It’s amazing, you know?” said Lancer Senior Cyrus Habibi-Likio. “The streak is really for our alumni, and this win was for them.” The Lancers ran through the Bells in the first half like a hot knife through butter, scoring 3 times in the first, twice off of punts both from senior Garrett McCarthy. “We think we’re pretty good and we thought it could come down to something as small as special teams,” said Lancer Head Coach Greg Calcagno.
McCarthy would finish with 120 yards on 3 punt returns. The other touchdown was provided by Cyrus Habibi-Likio. Habibi-Likio took a handoff at his own 41, and with great blocking from his line, broke into the secondary and juked a defender to break away for a 60-yard touchdown. “It’s all just my line. They created a seal, I saw the hole and took it. I wasn’t even celebrating [because] I was still in shock,” said Habibi-Likio. He ended the game with 121 yards on 20 carries.
The Lancer defense matched their defense, holding the Bell offense within their own half of the field, as well as shutting them out in the first half. “We know how good we are,” said Coach Calcagno. “We hang our hats (on our defense) and we always have.”
The Bells finally entered the scoring when full back, Jackson Burrill plunged in from 4 yards out, only for the Dimitri Tsatalos PAT to be tipped onto the upright. Soon after, running back Austin Ajiake scored a touchdown of his own with a 12 yard touchdown bull run. Bellarmine failed to score the two point conversion to make the score 21-12 with not much time to play. “He’s a stud and we are lucky to have someone with so much talent and just as much heart,” said Burrill.
Burrill and the Bellarmine defense struggled at first, unable to contain the fast paced Lancer offence, only making one stop. In the second half, the defense found its form, holding St. Francis scoreless in the second half, and earning the Bells’ great field position drive after drive.
Late in the fourth quarter, a third Bells touchdown was looming over the St. Francis sideline, cornerback Bennett Williams made a great read and intercepted Bell quarterback Ike Ogbogu. The Bells made one more drive to score, led by Tyler Gallis with 4 receptions on that drive alone, but it led to no avail.
The 2-0 in league Lancers head to San Mateo to take on the 1-1 Serra Padres, as the 1-1 Bells stay at home and host the 0-2 Sacred Heart Cathedral Fightin’ Irish.
[Guest article by Aaron Ross ’17]