PETALUMA, Calif. – On a night where both defenses controlled the action early on Marin Catholic (3-0) came up with the big plays and had the more dominant defense the entire game in a 28-7 Friday night victory on the road at Casa Grande.
What was billed to be a battle of quarterbacks never really materialized.
One week after setting a North Coast Section record with 647 yards passing (seven TDs) in a win over Maria Carrillo, Casa Grande senior quarterback Jacob Porteous never really got untracked against a Marin Catholic defense that had not yielded a point coming into the game. He did throw one touchdown pass, an 18-yard completion to Shane Runyeon but it came with the game out of reach on a fourth-and-7 with 8:30 left in the game.
The visiting Wildcats blitzed on almost every down and forced Porteous to throw on the run. He finished 12-of-32 for 104 yards and the one TD and one interception, and he was sacked four times and hurried on 12 other occasions.
Marin Catholic senior quarterback Michael Ingrassia got some rough treatment from the Casa Grande defense, but he took the licks well. He ended up 13-of-24 for 175 yards and two touchdowns, but he was sacked five times and lost a fumble on one of the sacks. Senior linebacker Antonio Bernardini had three of the Casa Grande sacks.
The first quarter was all defense as was the first half of the second quarter. Marin Catholic finally broke the drought when Ingrassia found a wide open Kyle McBride on a 50-yard TD pass that gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead they would never relinquish.
Marin Catholic took the second half kickoff holding a 7-0 lead but after back-to-back sacks, they were forced to punt. Ingrassia, who also does the punting, got one downed at the two. After a three-and-out forced a Casa Grande punt, junior Robert Tuttle caught it at the 35 and rambled into the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
The Wildcats made it 21-0 when Ingrassia connected with senior Charlie Knapp on a 25-yard TD pass with 45 seconds left in the third quarter. Knapp also had the Marin Catholic interception.
After the score by the host Gauchos, the Wildcats answered right back with another big play when sophomore Charles Williams took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards to the house with 8:12 left to close out the scoring. Along the way he broke three tackles and when he accelerated he easily outraced the remaining defenders. Williams, a running back who looks to have all the tools to be the next star for Marin Catholic, carried 10 times for 116 yards.
All in all it was a good win for a young Marin Catholic team, but they made a lot of mistakes, with two sure touchdown passes dropped in the end zone. The Wildcats also had 11 penalties for 90 yards.
“We’re a young team still growing,” said Marin Catholic head coach Mazi Moayed. “We have 10 new starters on offense and six new starters on defense.”
“The spirit is good, the energy is good, the kids compete like heck, and we love that, but a lot of errors, a lot of mistakes, which is not good,” Moayed continued. “Some of it has to do with discipline and some of it has to do with they’re still learning the team. We can’t keep doing that up and expect to go a long ways, but our ceiling is high.”
Speaking of high ceilings, Marin Catholic has a tough task ahead this coming Friday night when they visit McClymonds in Oakland.
Casa Grande (1-1) played well on defense and they know they have plenty of offense, so they need to shake off this loss to one of the top teams in the NCS and get ready for next week’s game at Santa Rosa.