In a game where the Bellarmine football team never managed to get anything going, the result was a humbling defeat at the hands of Serra, 43-0. The game came down to Bellarmine having no offensive momentum, and the Bell defense lacking the capacity to halt the Serra attack. Coach Janda said to The Mercury News that “they really do a fine job (Serra), they’re coached very well, and they have great players. They really run their stuff extremely well.”
The Bells started off punting the ball back to Serra at their own 45-yard line. The first pass by Serra was not by their starting quarterback Luke Bottari. Instead, Serra ran a lateral play to slot receiver Patrick Simon who then threw the ball down the field to wide receiver Terence Loville for a touchdown. This quickly set the tone for the rest of the game.
From there, the Bellarmine offense was bogged down even more. After getting their first, 1st down of the game, quarterback Harry Mingrone conceited an interception to Edmond Lahlouh of Serra, which was promptly returned to the Bellarmine 23-yard line. Soon after, QB Luke Bottari threw a strike to running back Nate Sanchez which resulted in a touchdown. Widening the divide to 13-0 Serra.
The Bells aerial struggles continued, but Serra’s offense finally slowed down when they were forced to punt the ball back to the Bells. After another stagnant offensive drive, with around 3 minutes to go, Bellarmine punted the ball to Terence Loville, who returned with a 60-yard and gave Serrah optimal field position. Having a great position, Bottari threw yet another TD pass, this one to WR Malakai Ranga. Thus ending an elongated first quarter, which saw Serrah leading Bellarmine 20-0.
The second quarter provided little solace to the Bells struggling offense. Bellarmine, after punting the ball back to Serra to start the 2nd quarter, gave up a long pass and then a rushing touchdown by Bottari for a 27 point lead. Following that score, Serra’s Jackson Lataimua sacked Bells Quarterback Mingrone for the safety and the two points that come with it.
Giving the ball back following the safety by Lataimua, Serra marched down the field before Bottari threw for his 3rd touchdown of the game, this one a screen pass to RB Sanchez from 18 yards out. The Bellarmine offensive struggles continued as the 1st half ended with a 36-0 Serra lead.
In the 3rd quarter, the game went to running down the clock. Serra took the opening half kickoff, and on the first drive, they scored with a Nate Sanchez rushing touchdown, his 3rd touchdown of the game. From there, the Serra offense took it easy while the Bellarmine offense continued to struggle, resulting in 43-0 as the final score. Coach Janda said of his team’s performance that “we have to pick up the pieces and see what we can improve on. That’s what our job is each week, it’s to try to get better.”
Some Notes and Thoughts
For Bellarmine, although the loss may be extremely devastating and painful, it does give a reminder that this current football team has a long way to go before being its best self. Serra is ranked 41st in the state by MaxPreps, and rightfully so. This may be the best team the Bells play all year.
Adding onto that notion, Bellarmine did have a small bright spot. After his MVP-level performance against Riordan, Tyson Garcia rushed 10 times for 51 yards in the 1st half, showing that some elements of the team were going strong. Although Coach Janda has believed that this team is better suited for the pass, with a weapon like Garcia, you may see a shift back to the Bellarmine offense of old.
Bellarmine takes on Archbishop Mitty Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 pm. Go Bells!
All stats and game recap are courtesy of The Mercury News and MaxPreps.