Cardinal Newman is that good

It was business as usual for the Cardinal Newman football team, which might not have been quite as sharp as it had been the last few games, but it was the playoffs after all and Newman did have a week off because of a bye.

Joe Ferguson getting injured (shoulder, popped back in) isn’t good, but Newman’s depth picked him up nicely. Ferguson is tough and said he’ll do whatever he can to be back for the next game. In his absence, Jeff Badger rushed for a season-high 237 yards and 2 TDs and was equally awesome on defense. Badger did get shaken a little on a block on a kickoff, but said halftime helped get his senses back.

You’re having a pretty good season (Randy Wright) when you’re 17 of 24 for 212 yards and 3 TDs and it’s not your best game. Wright, who received outstanding protection from his line, now has thrown for 29 TDs with just two interceptions.

Newman did lose two fumbles in the third quarter.

Ferguson’s status was up in the air after the game. Doctors are supposed to examine the shoulder, which Ferguson said he suffered while straight-arming a defender who was tackling him, and he said he’ll play if he gets the OK. He did have his right arm in a sling and he said he suffered a similar injury his freshman year.

Newman’s defense was super again. Ryan Rodriguez, Michael Knott, Badger, Blake Ratto, Jonathan Steele and Jacob Gowan all had stellar games.

Gowan, Troy Schwedhelm and Tyler Bowman were outstanding on the offensive line.

While Clayton Valley also won, beating Casa, Newman continues to not only win, but dominate teams.

There was a big crowd at the Newman game and there was a huge portable Jumbo Screen that carried the game live. It added to a playoff atmosphere.

The saddest part of the night was speaking with head coach Paul Cronin, whose older brother David, died earlier in the week. For someone so passionate about high school football and during the playoffs, one can only imagine Paul’s feelings. It had to be hard to concentrate on the game. Paul said his brother attended some of the games and last came to the Newman-Ukiah game a few weeks ago.

Obviously, it’s hard not to talk about Newman’s chances of returning to a state bowl game. Two more wins, a 13-0 season, it would be nearly impossible not to give the Cardinals a berth.