The Clear Lake High football team scored in every quarter in handing visiting St. Helena its fourth straight North Central League I loss Friday night, 25-0.
It was the season finale for the Saints (3-5 overall, 2-5 NCL I), according to head coach Brandon Farrell. Although the North Coast Section will allow any football team to apply for a playoff berth because several teams – including St. Helena – had two games canceled due to poor air quality during the recent wildfires, Farrell said the Saints are not going to apply for one.
It’s the first time since 2009 that St. Helena will miss out on the playoffs.
“We just don’t have the right people in the right positions that are healthy,” he explained.
Senior quarterback Christian Cia was 13 of 26 passing for 132 yards, with Ryan Rockwood snagging nine catches for 112 yards and Casey Walker making four grabs for 20 yards.
The Saints also ran for over 100 yards, and got into Clear Lake territory four times. They got inside the Cardinals’ 20-yard line twice, coming very close to scoring in the final seconds. With a light rain falling most of the night, they gave up two fumbles but also recovered two.
“The conditions definitely affected different things we could do, and we had some kids who were playing new positions,” Farrell said. “They competed well. We just didn’t score.”
He said senior Dante Miroglio, normally a tight end, played well at offensive tackle.
“He did a great job, and actually played one of his best games all year,” Farrell said.
Meanwhile, Clear Lake quarterback Alex Adams threw for 141 yards, boosting his season total to a school-record 1,824, according to the Lake County Record-Bee. Adams had a 13-yard touchdown pass and ran for 99 yards and TDs of 11 and 10 yards as Clear Lake (6-3 overall, 5-2 NCL I) also rolled up 253 rushing yards.
“It was a very similar game to what we’ve experienced all year,” Farrell said. “We’ve played fairly competitively, but when the opposition got a chance to put points on the board or make a big play, they seemed to do it more often than we did. It cost us several games this year where we were right there and equally as talented as the other team. But the league was really competitive, and the other teams did a really good job and got the best of us this year.”
St. Helena JV 20, Clear Lake 0
Cody Ditomaso rushed for more than 100 yards with two touchdown runs and a two-point conversion as the Saints (7-0-1 overall, 6-0 NCL I) wrapped up their undefeated championship season Friday night.
Jake Mendes was 2 of 2 passing for 70 yards, with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Granados and a 40-yard completion to Ditomaso. Mendes also rushed for 60 yards.
The Saints fumbled five times and lost three of them in the rain. But a defense led by Ryland Campos and Jackson Dena – who each had three sacks – kept the Cardinals from capitalizing, forcing turnovers on downs at least three times.
“It’s hard playing in rain for first time. But the kids buckled down and didn’t let it get to them, and our defense bailed us out,” St. Helena head coach Ian MacMillan said. “Playing a rain game is about minimizing mistakes and when you do make mistakes, letting them go and playing on to the next play. I’m proud of them for doing that.”