Bruce Mahoney Game
Jack Sheedy ’14
When the lights shined brightest upon Kezar Stadium Friday night, the St. Ignatius Wildcats responded with tenacious defense, a high-octane offense, and opportunistic special teams, defeating the Sacred Heart Cathedral Fighting Irish 49-14 to win the first leg of the Bruce-Mahoney trophy competition. “It feels great to hit our stride towards the end of the season,” said St. Ignatius running back Elijah Dale. “We did a great job tonight - winning the Bruce and getting one step closer to a playoff berth. It’s a great night to be a Wildcat.” First-year Fightin' Irish coach Ken Peralta and his SHC squad were no match for Wildcat players such as Dale, who finished with 67 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Dominic Burke, who recovered a blocked punt in the second quarter and intercepted SHC quarterback Logan White. Special teamer Joe Lang struck as well on a 42-yard punt return for a touchdown, coupled with a 30-yard interception return for a TD late in the 2nd quarter. SHC began the game on a promising note, when senior Nick Mikovich ran straight up the middle of the defense for a 59 yard touchdown to put the Irish up 7-0 early in the first quarter. But S.I. proceeded to score 42 unanswered first-half points, destroying any Irish hope for a comeback. “We tried to pick up and key on their running game early on, but when they converted the fourth-and-three early in the game, it took the wind out of our sails a bit,” said Peralta. “After that, they scored a couple quick touchdowns, and executed well to keep the lead in their favor.” The early lead allowed the Wildcats to run a balanced mix of play action and runs, which opened up the field for senior running back Elijah Dale and junior quarterback Ryan Hagfeldt. Dale, SI’s all-time leading rusher, may not have had gaudy numbers on the night, but his 17 carries kept the run a viable option and kept the defense playing up, which helped open up the field for the play action. Hagfeldt, who finished 4-of-6 for 95 yards and two touchdowns, exploited the Irish secondary and connected with Nik Bell on both scores. In their two wins (Riordan and SHC) the St. Ignatius Wildcats have won by a combined score of 98-21. In both contests S.I. has put up 42 points in the first half, prompting a running clock during the second half. “Having so many young guys starting right now, the future looks extremely bright,” Dale said.
“We’ve got a lot to look forward to, both as a program and for the remainder of the season. Just as long as we keep practicing hard and execute our jobs, we can be successful. Tonight was a huge win for our program, and it shows how well our team can compete when we work together.” The 2nd part of the rivalry is scheduled for January 7th at USF’s Memorial Gym. Go cheer on your fellow classmates to another Bruce-Mahoney championship!
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