In a score expected by many WCAL experts, the Bellarmine Bells lost the 3rd straight football game in the Holy Wars with a final score of 28-0 to the Lancers. The game could really be summed up in two words: no offense. The Bells struggled to move the ball down the field, having only one trip in the red zone with an interception to show for it. On what was the final home game for the Bellarmine seniors, it was not a performance to be remembered. Coach Janda put it best when he responded, written by the Mercury News, “[his players] were matched up against a darned good team today”.
The Bells started off the game on defense, with the stands somewhat roaring and hope still in the air. That quickly changed when St. Francis 3rd-string QB Ryan Daly, who was pressed into starting duties due to injuries, threw a pass to TE James Dinneen for 73 yards on the 3rd play of the game. This was just one of the many, many big plays that went St. Francis’s way. St. Francis soon scored, giving the Lancers a lead of 7-0 early in the first quarter, with an Opeti Fangupo 3-yard touchdown reception.
The Bells and St. Francis exchanged punts until the Lancers got a 14-0 lead with a 53-yard run by Thomas Whitenight, a main chunk of his 12 rush 94 yard performance. In the 1st quarter alone, Bellarmine allowed 126 yards on two plays while they managed to amass only 17 yards themselves. But, as Coach Janda pointed out postgame, “giving up big plays has been one of our Achilles heels”. The Bellarmine offense had no rhythm or consistency with the run game was shut down by the St. Francis defensive line.
In the 2nd quarter, both offenses worked at a sub-optimal rate until the Lancers went on a methodical drive down the field culminating with a beautiful back shoulder grab by Evan Williams with around 5 minutes left to go in the game. The Bells still had no answers on offense.
In the 3rd quarter, Tyson Garcia was not in the game for reasons unknown, so Junior Aizon Henry entered the backfield to take some snaps. On the 3rd play of the 3rd quarter, Henry fumbled the ball, giving the Lancers a 1st and goal opportunity on the 8-yard line. The Lancers needed only one play; an 8-yard scamper by Whitenight to give St. Francis a 28-0 game. Although Henry had a fumble here, on defense he was absolutely phenomenal throughout the game. The Lancers Quarterback, Daly, tried to test him early, but after not allowing a single catch throughout, Henry soon took away a third of the field.
The rest of the game was defined by an inability to make the initial tackle, resulting in several plays where Lancers would turn a negative play into a 1st down. Bellarmine did manage to drive all the way down to the red zone where Mingrone’s pass was intercepted, putting an end to yet another Holy War.
Just as Bellarmine senior football players experienced their last home game as a Bell, Bell seniors Carlos Jimenez ’19 and Lucas Owens ’19 had a farewell of their own. Both of them work in the sports broadcasting section for Bellarmine, working tirelessly over the last 4 years trying to get Bell football live to your homes. Although there are other sports, it is the end of an era and the end of 4-year’s work and effort.
The Bells take on Valley Christian Friday, Oct. 26 @ Valley Christian 7 PM.