In the storied tradition of Serra Padres football, the 2013 team may be its best ever.
With a CIF Division I regional bowl date at San Jose City College on Friday night against Del Oro, the Padres have an opportunity to earn even more accolades.
After several close losses in the CCS Open Division over the years, coach Patrick Walsh wasn’t going to hide his emotions after his team’s 21-7 win over Mitty in the Open title game.
“It feels real good,” Walsh told Prep2Prep’s John Murphy. “There’s been a lot of suffering moments – a lot of Padres who have had a lot of tough losses in this Open Division. This is a historic school win not only for this group but for all those Padres (from years past). There’s nothing like the Serra Padre brotherhood. We’re going to pass this along to all the brothers.”
It takes a lot of humility for Walsh to completely change the offense this season after his rushing double-wing dominant attack set school scoring records each of the last two seasons. Walsh, though, hired Steven Lo as offensive coordinator before this season and it meant a change to a more spread-oriented attack that included much more passing.
The 2011 team averaged 373.6 yards and scored 505 points, both Serra records. The 2012 team’s 378.2 yards and 425 points were third and second best in school history.
This year’s team? They are 40 points away from the Serra scoring record and the 418.1 yards average is nearly 45 yards better than the previous average. Even better, they’re doing in a season when they win their first ever school’s Open championship.
It didn’t look like the Padres would win the Open by a couple touchdowns when Dakari Monroe scampered for a 74-yard touchdown run to give Mitty a 7-0 lead in the third quarter.
Matt Fa’aita made some big throws and was 16-of-24 for a season-high 222 yards, including a touchdown pass to Hamilton Anoa’i that tied the game in the third. Fa’aita also ran for 47 yards and a score and ran for touchdowns in all three playoff wins and has 231 rushing yards in the postseason.
While Mitty was without quarterback Trent Scharrenberg, who had three screws in his broken hand, the Padres defense held Mitty to 14 points in the two wins over Monarchs.
Also, Easop Winston had nine catches for 121 yards after not having more than 57 yards receiving in any game this season and was a big part of a 18-6 first down advantage for Serra.
Serra was held to 141 yards rushing and, other than the 21-14 loss to De La Salle, this was their lowest rushing effort of the season. Junior Kava Cassidy did have 17 carries and 69 yards but was held without a score after eight touchdowns in the previous two playoff games. He also didn’t break 90 yards rushing for just the third time this season.
Mitty allowed more than 16 points just twice all season, both times were losses to Serra.
The Padres will now play 12-2 Del Oro, who rallied from a 19-0 hole in the final eight minutes for a 20-19 win against Elk Grove in the Sac-Joaquin Division II title game. The participants have one common opponent, De La Salle. Serra fell in their opener at home, 21-14, to the Spartans while the Golden Eagles suffered a 41-13 defeat in Concord two weeks later.
Speaking of De La Salle, the Spartans won their 39th straight game, 49-17, at Dublin High against California for their 22nd consecutive NCS championship.
The Spartans averaged 15.4 yards per carry against Cal for a 553-yard rushing night and leading ball-carrier John Velasco had his first 200+ yard game. Velasco tallied 176 of his career-high 234 yards in the first half and now is just 147 yards shy of 2,000. Continue reading