St. Vincent shocked most onlookers at Yarbrough Field on a warm Saturday afternoon by punishing visiting Burton of San Francisco, 55-0 in a game that finished with a running clock for the entire second half.
It wasn’t so much the win by the Mustangs that surprised their fans and head coach Trent Herzog as it was the lopsidedness of the contest from start to finish.
“They beat us badly last year. and came in here averaging 45 points a game with a couple of wins,” explained Herzog, “Burton also has a Division I prospect in Alfonso Smith. I don’t know what happened to him today.”
It was not a date to remember for the Pumas who were trapped in a traffic jam on Highway 101 en route to Petaluma. They arrived only minutes before game time, and hastily got ready with a 17-minute warm up. St. Vincent cooperated by taking an extra long pre-game visit.
As for Smith, he lasted only a few minutes in the game and appeared to hurt his back on a short pass route. He left without returning. Burton floundered is the absence of Smith, but St. Vincent turned on the jets, rolling up 395 offensive yards in the first half while building a 49-0 advantage. The Mustangs scored on every ball possession except a fumble loss and got a pinpoint-passing effort from sophomore Jacob Porteous who wound up a perfect 9-9 for a whopping 221 yards and three touchdowns.
Rory Morgan, Jermy Bukolsky and Dante Antonini all grabbed scoring passes from Porteous in the first half before the officials asked for a running clock.
Freshman running sensation Kai Hall had another terrific performance with 198 yards on 16 carries. Burton had no answer for the swift Division 7-leading running back who was difficult to hem in once he bolted into the open field. Hall had three touchdowns in the first half and scored the last six pointer of the game on a 5-yard run before Herzog pulled the plug on his offense. Hall had six rushes in the second half before giving way to reserves.
Typical on the afternoon was a broken play in the Mustang backfield. The ball was scooped up by an alert Andrew Kohler who scooted 53 yards for the longest run from scrimmage on the afternoon. Burton made a good rush up front on the play, but overran Kohler who sneaked down the sideline for the score.
“I think this was the best effort by our kids since I started coaching here,” said Herzog. “You know they hammered us, 54-21, last year, but our team was really ready to play today. It was a bit of revenge for us. We didn’t punt one time.”
Kohler wound up the second leading rusher with 55 yards on two carries while sophomore Liam O’Hare got seven consecutive carries in the final period, and finished with 38 yards rushing.
A frustrated quarterback Jonah Mati carried most of the offensive load for the visiting Pumas, but settled for long failed pass attempts, and Burton posted only three first downs on the afternoon. Three poor kicks of less than 20 yards also crippled the Puma cause.
Porteous completed a toss for eight yards to Nate Berniklau before shutting down the Mustang air game. The rest of the work went to O’Hare behind a line that dominated Burton from the time the Pumas got got off the bus.
Defensively, the Mustangs got three stops each by Dante Antonini, Morgan, O’Hare and Anton Ghattas. Gio Antonini put intense pressure on the Burton attempts to pass as he was in the face of Mati all afternoon.
One Puma pass was picked off by sophomore Taiki Belway. Dante Antonini also chipped in with a notable day in pass coverage. He blanketed the Burton wide receivers, knocking away several Mati passes. Senior co-captain Morgan Morarity forced a fumble and pounced on the ball in the first quarter.
The lopsided victory gave the more disciplined Mustangs a competitive 4-1 mark in their independent schedule with a goal of making the CIF playoffs. Two consecutive road contests against Healdsburg and Morro Bay will open the second half ofthe season for the Mustangs.