Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Countdown to the Finals: Division III
(1) Cathedral Catholic (11-1) vs (3) Point Loma (9-3) Friday 1 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium
In this re-match of the Division III title game from two years ago, Point Loma will try to slow down a Cathedral Catholic juggernaut playing its most complete football of the season. Since losing to Lincoln in October, the Dons have won six straight by a combined score of 223-51. What is most impressive about Cathedral Catholic is that it’s hard to pinpoint what is the best part about their team: their defense allowing 9.5 points per game, their ground game with Jonny Martin (1,682 yards, 23 TDs) running behind a massive offensive line, or the Max Brewer-Chance Early connection through the air. It will no doubt take a complete game to dethrone the Dons.
Point Loma comes in winners of six straight and has simply found a way to win in their playoff games, with a seven-point win against Mount Miguel and four-point win over Steele Canyon. And the neutral site shouldn’t bother the Pointers, who have played away from home in each of their two postseason games. Point Loma has big play capability on offense, and quarterback Keegan Fitzgerald has a plethora of weapons at his disposal, including backs Leslie Rogers and Stephan Jackson, receiver Davis Callejon and tight end Jordan Sparkman. Defensively, Point Loma relies on defensive linemen Christian Hayward and Anthony Joyner to set the tone up front. The Pointers are athletic enough to challenge Cathedral Catholic, but recent history is not on their side – the Dons have won each of the teams’ four meetings in the last two seasons.