Casa’s grandest victory

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Casa Grande quarterback JaJuan Lawson carries the ball for a long gain in Friday's game against Cardinal Newman. (Photo by John Burgess, The Press Democrat)

Casa Grande quarterback JaJuan Lawson carries the ball for a long gain in Friday’s game against Cardinal Newman. (Photo by John Burgess, The Press Democrat)

Get out the chalk and check off the goal for an undefeated season — Casa Grande closed out its last league rival with a tough win against Cardinal Newman.

Needing a virtuoso game from quarterback JaJuan Lawson to get ahead, Casa Grande then followed the power running of John Porchivina and defensive stops from Miles Gardea and Cody Hughson to the 40-28 win Friday.

While leading the entire way, Casa Grande never could feel the game was in hand. Held without scores in the first and third quarters, the Gauchos ultimately wore down the Cardinals. The teams traded touchdowns to the end.

“It’s all with the heart and how much you leave on the field,” said Casa Grande tight end and linebacker Gardea. “Against a team like Cardinal Newman that is fantastic and has a lot of heart, you have to match that and we did.”

With the win, Casa Grande is 10-0 — as Gauchos fans chanted in the fourth quarter — going into the North Coast Section playoffs.

Cardinal Newman gained confidence despite the loss. Holding the Casa Grande running game in check for much of three quarters, the Cardinals also remained resilient on offense.

“This was a good test for the playoffs,” said Cardinal Newman defensive back and wide receiver Dylan Kolman. “Casa’s a great team. But that’s what we’ve done all year. We do not let up.”

Concluding an undefeated regular season with the league finale against Cardinal Newman was fitting. The teams are developing a rivalry after years near the top of different leagues.

North Bay League

AT CARDINAL NEWMAN

Casa Grande 0 20 0 20 – 40
Cardinal Newman 0 14 0 14 – 28

CG—John Porchivina 9 pass from JaJuan Lawson (Matt Abramo kick)

CG—Zakk Molina 62 pass from Lawson (Abramo kick)

CN—Zach Stoltz 9 run (Trent Klein kick)

CG–Miles Gardea 28 pass from Lawson (kick failed)

CN—Stoltz 1 run (Klein kick)

CG—Porchivina 14 run (conversion attempt failed)

CG—Porchivina 2 run (Gardea kick)

CN—Dylan Kolman 27 pass from Keaton Dunsford (Klein kick)

CG—Cody Hughson 51 run (Gardea kick)

CN—Kasey Mansen 41 pass from Dunsford (Klein kick)

Rushing—Casa Grande, Porchivina 16-132, Lawson 7-106. Cardinal Newman, Stoltz 13-62.

Passing—Casa Grande, Lawson 10-17-0-171. Cardinal Newman, Dunsford 28-42-3-360.

Receiving—Casa Grande, Zakk Molina 3-74, Porchivina 3-34. Cardinal Newman, Ryan O’Leary 6-65, Mansen 5-73, Kolman 4-84, Kevin Lucey 5-63, 79.

Records: CG 10-0, 7-0; CN 7-3, 5-2

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