Football: Newman pulls away from Maria Carrillo 42-28

By ALLIE COLOSKY
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

In a high-scoring second half, the Cardinal Newman football team pushed for a late lead, eventually beating Maria Carrillo 42-28, Friday night in Santa Rosa.

The Pumas struck first, when Walker Rotherham found Jared Brazis for a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter, but the Cardinals capitalized on a Puma fumble in response.

Craig Lucey completed the drive with a 10-yard carry for the touchdown.

“I think the first half was representative of the preparation we’ve all put in this week.” Maria Carrillo head coach Jay Higgins said. “We both had good game plans for each other and a good defense.”

Tied at halftime, Cardinal Newman began the third-quarter scoring frenzy when Michael Ortola carried the ball for 5 yards and the touchdown.

The Pumas’ Alex Netherda was quick to respond, carrying the football for 43 yards, before Rotherham found Brazis to complete the two-point conversion

It was the last time Maria Carrillo would lead, however, as a 23-yard carry from Newman’s quarterback Jordan Brookshire, and a completed two-point conversion of their own, put the Cardinals up 21-14.

“They made some adjustments and we couldn’t get our feet under us after that,” Higgins said. “They (Cardinal Newman) did a good job of doing what they needed to get done.”

Rotherham found Jack Dobar for a touchdown to tie the game at 21, but Cardinal Newman regained the lead 10 seconds later, returning a kickoff for 60 yards.

“We fumbled the ball five times,” Cardinal Newman head coach Paul Cronin said. “I never gave us control of the game. If we could hold on to the ball, we could have done a lot better controlling the game.”

Maria Carrillo’s Isiah Kohne recovered a fumble and returned the ball 65 yards for a touchdown, but it wouldn’t be enough to clinch the home win.

“I really enjoy prepping for them,” Higgins said. “It’s a fun week for us in terms of the chess game, and it’s enjoyable because it’s so challenging.”

Brookshire added a 31-yard touchdown and a 47-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to extend the Cardinals’ lead and seal the win on the road.

“He’s a great athlete and he’s matured as a player,” Cronin said, “but our line upfront was able to control the game.”

The Cardinals improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the North Bay League, but Cronin said the team was a bit disappointed in minor mistakes, and they know what they needed to work on.

“We need to do a better job of ball security,” he said. “We need to work on that this week.”

Maria Carrillo dropped its overall record to 2-3 and 0-2 in the NBL.

The Pumas will continue to eliminate the small mistakes, Higgins said, as they continue to chase for their first league win.

“It’s the little things that are hampering us right now,” he said. “If we can take care of that, we’ve got a lot of things that we need to be a really competitive football team.”