It was sloppy, at times ragged, but Riordan’s 34-20 home victory Saturday over Sacred Heart Cathedral in the football opener for both San Francisco schools was welcomed by all involved.
The Crusaders got defensive touchdowns from Aden Jackson (80-yard fumble return) and Kemoe’atu Kefu (35-yard interception return) en route to a 20-0 first-quarter lead, then survived three touchdown passes from Sacred Heart Cathedral quarterback Cian Dowling to win both teams’ first game in 16 months.
Riordan’s Fazon Ruth contributed two second-half touchdown runs and Jackson added a second TD on a run. Tyrice Ivy Jr. had TD receptions of 28 and 27 yards for Sacred Heart Cathedral, and Bruce Uperesa added a 17-yard touchdown catch from Dowling.
“There were a lot of mistakes and turnovers, but both teams played super hard and it was a great game for so many reasons,” Riordan coach Mark Modeste said after the West Catholic Athletic League game. “The kids were just overjoyed to be out there. It was definitely a special day.”
Said Sacred Heart Cathedral coach Barry McLaughlin: “At one point in the second half I think we had seven sophomores in and a couple first-year juniors. A lot of kids got a lot of good reps. Both teams played hard. It was great to be out there.”