Saturday, November 10, 2007

St. Pat's Runs To Another BSAL Title

After a close first half, St. Patrick-St. Vincent rushes over Piedmont

By Jimmy Durkin

VALLEJO — St. Patrick-St. Vincent High's running game was overpowering in the second half Friday night, producing four touchdowns in a 38-15 victory over Piedmont for the Bruins' fourth straight Bay Shore Athletic League title.

Mike Meekins finished with 175 yards and a touchdown, Daniel Wyatt had 146 and three scores, while Robbie Souza had 138 yards and a TD to spark the victory.

Piedmont, which kept it close for a half, allowed two touchdowns in the first 61/2 minutes of the third quarter. Highlanders quarterback Jeremy George scored on a 1-yard run to make it 25-16 with 1:51 left in the third quarter, but fourth-quarter TDs by Wyatt and Souza put the game out of reach.

Piedmont (7-3, 5-1 BSAL) will apply for a North Coast Section 2-A East Bay at-large berth and figures to be a strong candidate. St. Patrick (10-0, 6-0) earns an automatic NCS berth and will attempt to defend its Class A title. "That was the best team we saw all year," Piedmont coach Kurt Bryan said.

St. Patrick got off to a quick start using its productive ground game, marching 85 yards on five plays. Daniel Wyatt had 45 yards over the final two plays, giving the Bruins a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game. St. Patrick got an interception from Michael Peralta on Piedmont's opening drive, but couldn't take advantage.

When the Highlanders got the ball back, they held the ball for 16 plays — twice converting on fourth down — but the drive stalled at the Bruins 48, and they were forced to punt.

Early in the second quarter, Piedmont's Bryce Chu recovered a fumble at the Highlanders' 44. A 30-yard pass from Jeremy George to Kyle Bonacum moved Piedmont to the Bruins 26. Another fourth-down conversion, this one a 22-yard from George to Joey Andrada, got Piedmont to the 2. Rory Bonnim then plowed in to cut the lead to 7-6 as a two-point pass conversion attempt failed.

On the first play of St. Patrick's ensuing drive, Piedmont's Russell Thompson recovered a fumble, and the Highlanders turned it into three points and a 9-7 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Jordan Remer with 5:47 left in the half.

St. Patrick's Mike Meekins nearly broke a big touchdown run, but was wrestled down at the 10 by Bonnim after a 75-yard gain. The Highlanders' defense eventually stopped the drive on nice fourth-down stand at the 6.

Late in the half, St. Patrick drove to the Piedmont 8, and Robert Rivers kicked a 24-yard field goal with three seconds left to give the hosts a 10-7 lead at the break.