Cathedral blasts Valhalla in championships, 49-13


He’s got back-to-back Division III football championships, a 15-0 season and a gaudy 51 touchdowns in his pocket. He’s one of the most hotly pursued running backs in the state (Notre Dame and University of Southern California are among his suitors), he was crowned homecoming king and he still has a baseball championship title to defend next spring.

Cathedral Catholic’s golden boy Tyler Gaffney is having a near perfect senior year.

“I’m never going to forget it,” Gaffney said. “It’s the best thing that could’ve happened to me in high school.”

His four-touchdown day last Friday helped put the Dons over Valhalla High 49-13 in front of a very excited Qualcomm Stadium crowd. Cathedral students got a get-out-of-school-early pass and showed up en-mass to create a red sea in the stands.

A scoreless first quarter gave the illusion the championship was going to be a hard-fought game. Valhalla scored their first touchdown off an interception but their ensuing point after attempt was blocked and the momentum shift was seismic.

Cathedral rallied with back-to-back 21-point quarters that made the fourth quarter almost irrelevant.

Gaffney scored first on a light 19-yard jog in the end of the second quarter. He followed up with a huge 56-yard run off a pass in the flat and a 31-yard romp where he easily shook loose of tackles and took advantage of some key blocks.

His last receiving touchdown in the third quarter was just ridiculous - skating 42- yards to pay dirt-leaving Norsemen bumbling in his wake.

While the Gaffney Show is awful fun to watch, Cathedral has a roster full of talented players.

On offense, senior Brad Harrington scored off a 29-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Parker Hipp. Junior quarterback Max Brewer stepped in to find sophomore Chance Early wide open in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Senior defensive back Brendan Van Deventer had a big day on defense. He blocked a sure touchdown pass after a Valhalla interception had them threatening early in the game. Late in the fourth, he took an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.

Junior defensive back Ryan McLoughlin delivered a hit that kept Dons fans entertained in the multiple stadium replays.

Junior linebacker Jordan Lance had a heads-up fumble recovery.

The Dons will play this weekend for the Division II State Championship. They take on Stockton’s St. Mary’s squad at the Home Depot Center in Carson.