Alexis Rhone Fancher 9 p.m., March 4
Dons dominate Olympian to take fifth straight section title
QUALCOMM STADIUM – For the fifth season in a row, Division III belongs to Cathedral Catholic. The top-seeded Dons captured their fifth consecutive section title on Monday with a 41-0 drubbing of third-seeded Olympian.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity and hard to comprehend,” said Cathedral Catholic linebacker Russell Reeder. “Over time we created a family atmosphere and that’s what really helped. I’ve never been on a team that is so close.”
Cathedral Catholic (12-1) rode a stellar defense and ground game all the way to the finals, but on the big stage its aerial attack stole the show. Dons quarterback Garrett Bogart completed 10-of-15 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns – including three in the first half to receiver Brian Heinz – as Cathedral Catholic raced out to a 27-0 halftime lead.
“They played nine in the box trying to stop our run, which left the pass wide open,” Bogart said. “We knew we were going to be able to take advantage of them and we did well.”
On its second drive of the game, Cathedral Catholic opened the scoring with a Bogart 24-yard touchdown pass to Heinz. Midway through the second quarter Bogart connected with Heinz on a 76-yard touchdown strike to make it 13-0 – a pass that Heinz caught along the sideline near midfield and took off with as Olympian defenders stopped, thinking he was already out of bounds.
“I rolled out and I put it on his back shoulder,” Bogart said. “He just turned, caught it, got his feet in and just ran down the sideline. That was a really special play.”
With 4:33 remaining in the first half, Cathedral Catholic defensive back Parker Price returned an Olympian punt 65 yards for a score that gave the Dons a 20-point lead. Just before halftime, the Dons completed the onslaught with methodical 95-yard scoring drive capped off by a Bogart-to-Heinz 10-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left.
“We just had to take our time because we knew they would be blitzing a lot and just wait for the open guys so we could take shots downfield,” Bogart said.
Heinz finished with 123 yards receiving, and each of the 6-foot-5 senior’s four receptions went for scores. He hadn’t caught more than one touchdown pass in a game before Monday’s outburst.
“We took advantage of our height against their shorter corners and it seemed to work,” Heinz said.
After halftime, Cathedral Catholic added two third-quarter touchdowns to bury Olympian (9-4) in the Eagles’ first section finals appearance in school history. The 41-point shutout win is the Dons’ most decisive during its current run of five consecutive titles.
“Our defense has been great all year and when they got in the big game they were great. They gave up very little,” Doyle said.
It its final nine games of the season following a blowout loss to Helix, Cathedral Catholic went undefeated and allowed a total of 22 points. The Dons shut out each of their three postseason opponents.
“I didn’t expect it. But with the group of guys that we have and the way we came out playing and how much we studied, it makes sense now that it is all over,” Reeder said.
Cathedral Catholic beat Olympian 31-0 on Sept. 23, and delivered a more decisive result in the championship rematch. The Dons have now enjoyed a half-decade of dominance in Division III.
“It all started with the seniors that graduated last year and it shows that we’re keeping that team alive with good football teams after they’ve left,” Bogart said.
Pictured: Cathedral Catholic players celebrate the Dons’ fifth consecutive Division III championship
More like this:
- Game of the Week: No. 3 Cathedral Catholic vs. No. 8 St. Augustine — Oct. 20, 2012
- Game of the Week: #7 Cathedral Catholic at #1 Eastlake — Oct. 1, 2011
- Division III: Cathedral Catholic vs Lincoln — Dec. 6, 2010
- Game of the Week: St. Augustine at Cathedral Catholic — Dec. 5, 2009
- Game of the Week: Cathedral Catholic at Helix — Sept. 19, 2009