St. Fran­cis earns 1st out­right WCAL ti­tle in 15 sea­sons

San Francisco Chronicle - Late Edition (Sunday) - - FOOTBALL - Mitch Stephens con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Los­ing four straight games to Serra was one thing.

But not hav­ing won an out­right con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship for 15 years made St. Fran­cis’ 42-7 West Catholic Ath­letic League road win Satur­day even more spe­cial.

In a matchup of de­fend­ing state cham­pi­ons, the Lancers (9-1, 7-0) used a vise-like de­fense that gave up just 172 yards and stel­lar games from quar­ter­back Ryan Daly (9for-13, 215 yards, four touch­downs) and re­ceiver Evan Wil­liams to clinch a top Divi­sion 2 seed in the Cen­tral Coast Sec­tion play­offs. The play­off pair­ings will be an­nounced Sun­day.

“It feels great to win an out­right ti­tle,” St. Fran­cis coach Greg Calcagno told’s Harold Abend. “We think this league is pretty spe­cial and pretty darn tough. Serra did it last year for the first time in a while, and for us it’s been a long while com­ing, and it was nice.”

Daly, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound ju­nior, fired touch­down passes of 7, 63 and 70 yards to Wil­liams.

Af­ter be­ing used spar­ingly in the first half with most of the car­ries go­ing to Opeti Fan­gupo (18 car­ries, 35 yards, one TD), run­ning back An­dre Bishop got his chances in the third quar­ter and fin­ished with 64 yards rush­ing and one touch­down.

St. Fran­cis de­ferred the open­ing kick­off. Af­ter the teams traded punts, the Lancers took ad­van­tage of a fum­ble re­cov­ery by Mau­rice Wilmer in the first quar­ter, tak­ing a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard plunge by Fan­gupo.

St. Fran­cis ex­tended the lead when a fum­bled punt was re­cov­ered by Christo­pher Sen­teno. Daly found Wil­liams for the first of their three touch­downs, mak­ing it 14-0.

Serra (6-4, 5-2) closed to 14-7 on an 18-yard pass from Luke Bot­tari to Malakai Rango with 1:26 left in the half, but St. Fran­cis took ad­van­tage of per­sonal-foul and pass-in­ter­fer­ence penal­ties to go 70 yards and score with 34.7 sec­onds left on a 10-yard pass from Daly to Michael Leahy to make it 21-7 at the half.

The Lancers kept the pedal down with three unan­swered sec­ond-half touch­downs, and the de­fense — which al­lowed just 23 points in league play — was dom­i­nant.

“We come into ev­ery game with a mind-set of want­ing to get a shutout,” Stan­ford-bound Lancers de­fen­sive end Josh Pakola said. “We didn’t get the shutout, but our de­fense got some turnovers and stops, and our of­fense took ad­van­tage of it and shined.”

#7 Val­ley Chris­tian 53, Rior­dan 7: At Terra Nova-Paci­fica, D’Von Lang rushed 10 times for 221 yards and three touch­downs as the War­riors (8-2, 6-1) wrapped up sec­ond place in the WCAL. Lang scored on runs of 70 yards, 13 yards and 1 yard. Rior­dan quar­ter­back Azaan Led­bet­ter com­pleted 17 of 35 passes for 249 yards in the first half be­fore leav­ing with a head in­jury. Ad­ham Ab­del­ghani threw a touch­down pass to Chris Whi­ley for the Cru­saders (1-9, 0-7). Val­ley Chris­tian’s Thomas Dun­ham (32 yards), Isa­iah McEl­vane (31) and Michael Corini (5) rushed for touch­downs. #25 Lin­coln 29, Bal­boa 0: Jovon Baker rushed for a touch­down and passed 54 yards to Ajani Adewusi for an­other score as the vis­it­ing Mus­tangs (9-0, 5-0 Aca­demic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion) beat the Buc­ca­neers (5-3, 3-2) while post­ing their third shutout of the sea­son. De­sean Craw­ford scored on a 1-yard run and Jack Gaughan scored on a 23-yard run.

Burlingame 38, San Ma­teo 7: Jor­dan Malashus threw two touch­down passes and ran for a score as the host Pan­thers (8-2, 5-0 Penin­sula Ath­letic League Ocean Divi­sion) won the 91st Lit­tle Big Game. Burlingame, which has won nine straight against the Bearcats (3-7, 2-3), leads the se­ries 55-32-4. Devon Malashus caught a 16-yard TD pass and added a 13-touch­down run for the Pan­thers, who scored the fi­nal 31 points af­ter Luke Bergstrom tied the game for San Ma­teo on a 2-yard TD run.

St. Ig­natius 34, Bel­larmine 0: Mark Big­gins rushed for two 18-yard touch­downs and added a 54-yard pick-six as the host Wild­cats (3-7, 3-4 WCAL) fin­ished the reg­u­lar sea­son with their sec­ond straight shutout. Zachary Tay­lor-Smith com­pleted a 12-yard touch­down throw to Al­fred Ugaitafa to open the scor­ing and Jack Hagfeldt fin­ished it with a 40-yard TD run. Bel­larmine (2-8, 1-6) was shut out in its fi­nal four games and five times over­all.


Marin Catholic 42, Santa Rosa 0: In Divi­sion 2 first-round play, Ryan Dolan rushed for 112 yards and two touch­downs and sopho­more Matt Ja­cob­sen took back an in­ter­cep­tion 45 yards for an­other score as the host Wild­cats (8-3), the fifth seed, ad­vanced past the Pan­thers (7-4). Quar­ter­back Gaven Cooke com­pleted 7 of 11 passes for 123 yards, rushed for 73 yards and ac­counted for three touch­downs.

Gabrielle Lurie / The Chron­i­cle

St. Fran­cis’ Michael Leahy scores a touch­down on a 10-yard re­cep­tion, giv­ing his team a 21-7 lead at half­time against archri­val Serra. The Lancers had lost four in a row to the Padres.

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