St. Mary’s too much for Tigers
STOCKTON — St. Mary’s safety Nick Huggins missed the vast majority of his senior football season with a wrist injury.
But he remained a crucial part of the Rams — almost exclusively in selfless ways.
“He was at practice every day helping, doing water, helping the scout team,” St. Mary’s coach Tony Franks said. “Just amazing giving of himself being hurt. A lot of kids would’ve just drifted off.”
A now healthy Huggins made his season debut Friday night, and took part in St. Mary’s first shutout of 2019 — a 59-0 rout of Tokay on homecoming night at Sanguinetti Field.
“It’s amazing just coming back to be able to fight with my teammates again. It’s been a year,” Huggins said. “…The first few plays I was a little gassed, but then eventually it got easier.”
It’s the Rams’ third consecutive shutout against the Tigers (2-7, 1-3 Tri-City Athletic League) and their 18th consecutive win in the series. St. Mary’s has won all 29 TCAL games since the league realigned prior to the 2014 season.
Lincoln, a 77-7 winner over West, hosts St. Mary’s in a winner take-all rivalry game for the outright TCAL title next week.
On Friday, the Rams (5-4, 4-0) led 14-0 after a quarter and 38-0 at half.
Here are five first-half plays that propelled St. Mary’s and buried Tokay:
• St. Mary’s, up 7-0, faced a 4th down and 12 in Tokay territory early in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Noah May fired a perfect pass to a wide-open Nick Murray for a 35-yard strike and a twotouchdown lead.
• On the second play of the ensuing series, 1,000-yard rusher and Tokay junior Joseph Filippini broke loose down the middle of the field. Incredibly, Murray chased him down for a touchdown-saving (and eventually, a shutout-saving) tackle.
“Nick gives his heart out everyday,” Rams senior Elijah Wood said. “I was glad he caught him; it kept the goose egg on the board.”
• Three plays after Murray’s moment, Rams defensive tackle Liam White (6-foot-1, 280 pounds) read a screen pass perfectly and jumped up for an interception. “He made an amazing (read) on the screen and I was just hyped for him. Shout out to Liam,” Huggins said.
• On the first play of the Rams’ ensuing possession, tailback Tyrei Washington zigzagged down the right sideline and outlasted the Tigers for a 79-yard touchdown run. Washington finished with six carries for 128 yards and two TDs — all in the first half.
• The Tigers were driving in Rams territory again near the end of the first half before St. Mary’s Max Rascon nabbed an interception to maintain the shutout. May took a knee and the Rams went into halftime comfortably.
May surpassed the 2,000 passing yards mark for the season, going 8 of 12 for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Those TD strikes were the 35-yarder to Murray, 62 yards to
Michael Chavez and 15 yards to Maika Heck.
Jadyn Marshall added a 59yard punt return touchdown — his previous punt return was a touchdown, too, but was negated by a block in the back penalty. Backup quarterback Dawson Perry added a 1-yard TD on a quarterback keep and Max Gulart had a 19-yard TD run in the second half.