SAN LEANDRO, CA — Flying, yellow penalty flags, and Ben Pfaff ‘23 were the main stories of the night as Bellarmine beat San Leandro 25-6 for their 1st win of the season. As one of the students later said, “it felt like they [the refs] were throwing flags after every play.” While the neverending penalties slowed down the game, there were still a lot of exciting moments throughout the game. Let’s get into them…
After Bellarmine forced San Leandro to an early 3-and-out, they opened the scoring with a rushing TD by none other than RB Ben Pfaff ‘23. Only two drives later, San Leandro answered back with a 77-yard rushing TD by RB Jayden Bryant on an end-around rush to the right side. Surprisingly, the Pirates attempted a 2-point conversion which failed as they were stopped just short of the goal-line by Bellarmine’s defensive linemen.
The 2nd quarter started with Bellarmine in the red zone at the 1-yd line where Ben Pfaff ‘23 fumbled the ball. Not to worry, as Bellarmine sacked San Leandro QB Radman Beatty for a SAFETY on the very next play, putting Bellarmine up 9-6. After multiple possessions of 3-and-outs by both teams, Ben Pfaff ‘23 scored ANOTHER rushing TD good for 76 yards on a pitch by QB Parker Threatt ‘24. After scoring the TD, Bellarmine opted for an onside kick, which was a success but was later called back due to a controversial false start penalty against the Bells. One highlight of the quarter was a 42-yard gain on a last-minute throw to Ben Pfaff ‘23 as Parker Threatt ‘24 was getting sacked. The 2nd quarter ended with Bellarmine ahead, 16-6.
The 3rd quarter was a slow-moving quarter filled with many controversial penalties on both sides of the ball. Ben Pfaff ‘23 had a TD called back due to a penalty which led to an interception by San Leandro on the next play. While San Leandro was in the red zone, a 1-yd rushing TD was nullified due to an illegal hurdle by the RB, leading to a Bellarmine pick six which was called back due to another penalty. At this point in the game, both crowds were not pleased with the officials and communicated it to the refs with their words. Shortly after San Leandro repossessed the ball, Billy Ladd ‘24 got his 1st interception of the season. Bellarmine would later score on yet ANOTHER rushing TD by Ben Pfaff ‘23, putting the Bells up 22-6.
The 4th quarter was about “killing the clock.” Both defenses played solid football until Bellarmine regained possession and drove into San Leandro territory once again. Bellarmine slowly chipped away the clock before settling for a FG by John Raney ‘23, increasing the lead to 25-6. With just seconds left, San Leandro tried to put up some points but failed to do so because the clock had run out.
Although the game was filled with an abundance of yellow penalty flags, the Bells ended up getting their 1st win of the season, bringing their overall record to 1-2. Bellarmine played a fundamentally sound football game and, with the help of Ben Pfaff ‘23 on offense, were able to pull off a nice victory away. The Bells head into a much-needed bye week and hope to carry the momentum into their practices. In just two weeks, the Bells will host Saint Ignatius, for their home season-opener at San Jose City College. Make sure to come out and support your Bellarmine football team!