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Cathedral Catholic QB sparks win over St. Augustine in Holy Bowl

10/05/2018, 10:20pm PDT
By John Maffei

Cathedral Catholic’s DJ Ralph looks for his man past St. Augustine’s Michael Ambagtsheer Friday at

Through the season’s first six games, DJ Ralph was flying under the radar.

That all changed Friday night as the Cathedral Catholic junior quarterback threw for 247 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Dons to a 34-14 win over St. Augustine in Holy Bowl 56 before a full house at San Diego Mesa College.

Cathedral Catholic now leads the series between parochial school rivals 34-22 as the No. 2-ranked Dons improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the Western League. Seventh-ranked St. Augustine is 5-2, 1-1.

“DJ is just starting to understand our offense,” Cathedral coach Sean Doyle said of Ralph, who transferred from El Camino. “With the way he can throw, it makes it hard to stop our run game.

“St. Augustine had to give up something, at least we thought they would, and they chose to defend the run.”

In the two games prior to Friday, Ralph had completed 15-of-19 passes for 365 yards and seven touchdowns. He was 8-of-13 against the Saints.

His first completion Friday was 87 yards to Zion Sorani for a score.

Ralph’s second completion covered 43 yards to DJ Justice, setting up Cathedral’s second score, a 1-yard sneak by Ralph.

The third completion went for 54 yards to Zavion Watson down to the St. Augustine 2, setting up another score.

In all, Ralph had completions of 87, 56, 43, 16, 15, 15 and 11 yards.

“This is my first year in a wing-T offense and it has taken me a little bit to understand everything,” Ralph said. “But I’ve made some adjustments. I’m starting to get it. And the coaches are starting to trust me more.

“We have the best running back in the county in Shawn Poma, so if I can throw the ball well, we become a two-dimensional team. The run opens up the pass, and the pass complements the run.

“The Dons got a scare in the second quarter when Poma limped off the field. He missed a series while he was being checked out by the medical staff but returned the next series. He finished the night with 16 carries for 86 yards.

“Considering how many people St. Augustine was putting in the box to stop him, I thought Shawn had a great game,” Doyle said. “His knee stiffened up a little toward the end of the game, so we got him out of there just in case.”

St. Augustine quarterback Angelo Peraza routinely escaped a heavy Cathedral rush, throwing for 191 yards and a 34-yard TD to Samuel Scaife just before the half. He had seven completions of more than 12 yards, including throws of 36, 34 and 24 yards.

john.maffei@sduniontribune.com

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