What started off as a happy stroll to the homecoming dance turned into a desperate battle of attrition Saturday afternoon as St. Vincent’s Mustangs held off San Rafael’s Bulldogs, 33-20, in high school football.
The Mustangs were carried by fantastic freshman Kai Hall, who ran for 296 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. Hall ran for almost 200 yards in the first half as St. Vincent built a 19-0 lead, and had every reason to celebrate homecoming at halftime. As a team, St. Vincent rushed for 325 yards.
But even as the Mustangs celebrated one of their own — wide receiver Alex Ditizio (who is also an outstanding softball and girls basketball player) — being crowned queen, trouble was brewing.
Already missing several players to various ailments, St. Vincent lost key starters and captains Rory Morgan and Andrew Kohler to injuries in the first half.
San Rafael was also playing with its own problems. Wide receiver Drew Caveney moved to the quarterback spot for the second week as outstanding starter Jack Miller remained sidelined with an injury.
The injuries and a blistering hot day resulted in a determined second-half dogfight that ultimately was decided by Hall and the performance of several other key freshmen and sophomores who stepped up big time to fill in for the hurting Mustang stars.
“He’s real, real special,” St. Vincent coach Trent Herzog said of Hall, adding, “Our offensive line is pretty special, too.”