by Matthew Suh ’24
San Jose, Calif. — On Friday, November 3rd, thousands of fans flocked to San Jose City College to watch the annual Holy War Game between the Saint Francis Lancers and the Bellarmine Bells. Bellarmine parents packed the stands to watch their seniors get recognized at Senior Night. Hundreds of students packed the stands covered in black – Bellarmine’s theme for the night.
The game was not expected to be close. St. Francis entered the game ranked #2 in the West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) with a 6-3 record, while Bellarmine ranked #7 in the WCAL with a record of 2-7. On offense, St. Francis averaged a whopping 26.8 points per game (PPG) compared to Bellarmine’s 18.2 PPG.
Before the game, I asked Bellarmine’s TE, Ramiro Rodriguez what Bellarmine’s offensive and defensive game plan was coming into their game against St. Francis.
“Our plan is to stop the run by stacking the box and press the bubble routes. On offense, just [want] to move the ball and stay disciplined,” he said.
Bellarmine’s defensive game plan came to fruition in the early portion of the game. Bellarmine’s defense was able to slow down St. Francis’ strong running game by stacking the box. The first score of the game came on a 1-yard QB sneak up the middle by QB Parker Threatt ‘24, putting Bellarmine up 7-0 over St. Francis. Threatt’s TD was set up by a crucial unnecessary roughness penalty against St. Francis on a third down pass to intended WR Shane Paran ‘24.
In the second quarter, St. Francis responded with a TD of their own by RB Kingston Keanaaina ‘25, tying up the game at 7-7. To end the quarter, Bellarmine tried to put up some points as they were set to kickoff in the second half. Bellarmine struggled to drive the ball downfield and QB Parker Threatt ‘24 was eventually sacked by St. Francis outside linebacker Ryan Oberweis-Manion ‘24.
St. Francis opened up the third quarter with a promising drive led by RB Kingston Keanaaina ‘25. After a couple of strong runs from St. Francis, Bellarmine’s Nico Tatom ‘25 stripped the ball out of Keanaaina’s hands and Bellarmine recovered. Back on offense, Bellarmine failed to create any sort of rhythm and ended up turning the ball over on a attempted trick punt on 4th down. Wasting no time, St. Francis QB Aaron Knapp ‘25 launched a deep ball to TE James Jordan ‘25 right up the seam for a 56-yard catch and run TD. With pressure starting to mount, Bellarmine was forced to another 3-and-out.
St. Francis picked up right where they left off in the 3rd quarter by scoring a TD with RB Andrew Scharrenberg ‘24, placing them up by two scores at 21-7. Bellarmine failed to respond with any points on the following drive. St. Francis capped off the scoring with a 57-yard deep ball to WR Perrion Williams ‘26. At the end of four quarters, the St. Francis Lancers defeated the Bellarmine Bells 28-7.
Bellarmine’s Varsity Football team finished the 2023 season with a record of 2-8 (20% win rate) under first-year head coach David Diaz-Infante. The Bells managed to only win one league game in the WCAL against Sacred Heart Cathedral. Bellarmine will look to build on this season and bounce back with more wins next season. For now, Bells can prepare for the upcoming basketball, soccer, and wrestling seasons to watch their fellow Bells compete.
Missed the game? Check out scoring highlights from Bellarmine’s broadcast below!
Matthew Suh is a staff writer and contributor for The Bell Online, Talking Points Sports, and The Press Box. Follow Matthew on Twitter @matthewsuh.