Scripps Ranch defenders Christian Prince and Nick Smart (right) can't stop Cathedral Catholic's Brett Sarem from scoring a touchdown in the second quarter.
Final score: Cathedral Catholic 42, Scripps Ranch 3.
Key plays: Cathedral’s Josh Gizzi and Brett Sarem scored on 3- and 19-yard runs, respectively, on the team’s first two drives Friday, and teammate Chris Moliga took it from there. Moliga scored the Dons’ final four TDs on runs of 12, 3, 43 and 15 yards. The Dons didn’t need to pass much, but when they did it was usually QB Clayton Dale looking for WR Daniel Plum. The pair hooked up three times (each time for a first down) in the first half for 50 yards.
Key stats: The Dons (5-1) finished with 322 yards rushing in the Eastern League-opening home win against Scripps Ranch (4-2). Moliga went over 200 yards rushing for the night on his fourth TD, a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter. Moliga finished with 23 carries for 210 yards.
Quotable: “Chris has come on real strong. He’s a game player,” Cathedral coach Sean Doyle said. As for the Dons, he said, “We’re feeling good. Our No. 1 goal is to get through league. This was just the first one.”
Quotable, too: “Both teams came into the game with the same record, but we knew we were better, it showed tonight and we blew them out,” said Moliga, who matched the four TDs he scored earlier this season in the team’s big win over Vista Murrieta.
Big loss: Scripps senior RB Skyler Ray went out early in the first half with a dislocated right shoulder.
Banner night: There was a clever sign hanging from the Cathedral stands that had a D coupled with a drawing of a fence.
Nice try: City Conference rules state that kickoff is supposed to be 6:30 p.m. for varsity football games, although Cathedral schedules 7 p.m. starts for its home contests. Scripps Ranch coach Joe Meyer called Dons AD David Smola during the week with a suggestion: “How about if we start at 6:30, then you guys catch up with us at 7?” Good idea. “He didn’t quite go for it,” Meyer said with a laugh.
Back in action: Scripps senior Anthony Mossuto’s return to health has been like getting two players back since he serves as a tight end on offense and helps out on the Falcons’ short-handed defensive line. Mossuto missed the season’s first two games while recovering from a dislocated elbow suffered in May in a dune buggy accident.
Gear here: A couple of steps inside the entrance at Cathedral is a 1,200-square foot campus store that makes Macy’s look like a kiosk. It has everything and anything Dons fans could want when they want to represent. Cross country coach/track coach/teacher Dan Geiger, who runs the store, said the big sellers are hooded sweatshirts and spirit T-shirts that the students wear on Fridays. Asked if he worked on commission, Geiger said: “I wish.” Actually, it was obvious he wasn’t on commission since Geiger didn’t follow customers around the store asking, “Can I help you?” every five seconds.
Helmet study: Concern with concussions has been a hot topic and Cathedral is at the forefront of the issue, the first high school in the country to participate in a study to measure hits to the head. The Dons purchased 24 special helmets from Riddell at $200 apiece. Starters wear the helmets, which have sensors inside to monitor the number and magnitude of hits. The Dons’ trainer uses a handheld device that collects the data. “It registers when there is a big hit, so you can keep an eye on a kid,” said Doyle. “They have the same thing in college and the pros. You know what, there’s far less huge hits than people realize. High school gets lumped in with college and the pros. ... We did it for Riddell to see what it’s really like in high school.”
Food review: Went with the CC cheeseburger, which did not disappoint. it was hot and juicy, earning four belches on our five-belch scale. The Dons dining experience is enhanced by a patio area that includes 52 tables (no reservation required) and an observation deck that provides an excellent view of the field. Note to gardener: Please whack the five conifer trees that obstruct the view of the eastern end zone.