Cathedral Catholic shows No. 2 St. Augustine why it’s No. 1

Cathedral Catholic's quarterback Charlie Mirer (12) looks to pass under pressure from St. Augustine's Christian Gaeta (57).
(Denis Poroy)

Dons trail for first time this season, but end up routing Saints


For the first time in three games, No. 1-ranked Cathedral Catholic trailed.

But after holding their first two opponents scoreless, and not even letting them penetrate the red zone, the Dons imposed their will on an opponent again, this time beating No. 2 St. Augustine in the 59th edition of the Holy Bowl on March 26, 41-14.

The Dons (3-0) have outscored their first three opponents 131-14.

Cathedral overcame some early hiccups, falling behind 7-3 after a Gracen Halton 3-yard run in the second quarter, then scored 38 straight points before the Saints scored again.

“We fell behind 14-0 in this game last season and came back to win (34-14), so there was no panic,” said Cathedral coach Sean Doyle. “Offensively, we didn’t do much in the first half, but the second half was great. The defense was there all night.”

The Cathedral defense had four quarterback sacks and held the Saints to 156 yards total offense (116 rushing on 29 attempts).

The 6-foot-2, 270-pound Halton had 17 carries for 69 yards, 38 coming on one run.

Juan Hurtado had seven carries for 72 yards, one of those for 47.

“He’s a big guy,” said Cathedral linebacker Thomas Notarainni, who had 11 tackles. “Tackling guys that big isn’t something I’m used to.

“It was a fun game.

“We didn’t panic. We trusted what we do. We responded to what they did.”

Notarainni is also a starter on the Cathedral basketball team, averaging 17 points a game on last year’s Open Division champions.

“If some college doesn’t step up and give him a scholarship, they’re all crazy,” Doyle said of the 6-3, 205-pound Notarainni.

On the game’s opening drive, the Saints (2-1) got to the Cathedral 19 after the 38-yard run by Halton. But the Saints couldn’t cash in during a scoreless first quarter.

After a 30-yard Ian Hawkins field goal, Joshua Morgan returned the kickoff 78 yards to set Saints up at the Cathedral 17. Six plays later, Halton bulled in from 3 yards out, putting Cathedral behind for the first time this season.

That, however, is where St. Augustine’s fortunes changed.

Quarterback Charlie Mirer connected with Colman Smith on a 39-yard TD strike, giving the Dons the lead back.

Mirer also hit Rex Haynes with a 30-yard scoring pass.

Mirer threw for 156 yards as the Dons rolled up 453 yards total offense (163 passing, 290 rushing).

Lucky Sutton finished with 19 carries for 191 yards and TD runs of 5, 20 and 23 yards.

“We knew this was going to be a hard game,” Sutton said. “They jumped on us early, but we kept our composure, kept plugging, kept playing the game the way we know how.”

Cathedral running back Charlie Hall, who was hurt in last year’s Holy Bowl, had his first carry in more than a year, a 7-yard burst in the second quarter. He finished with seven carries for 31 yards, giving the Dons another offensive weapon.

Cathedral has now beaten the Saints three times in a row and Doyle is 20-12 overall against St. Augustine.

The Dons were scheduled to play Point Loma next Friday, but the Pointers had to cancel the rest of their games because of a lack of players.

Doyle said he hoped to find a fill-in opponent but wasn’t optimistic.

Cathedral Catholic 41, St. Augustine 14

St. Augustine 0 7 0 7 — 14

Cathedral Catholic 0 20 14 7 — 41

CC — FG Hawkins 30

SA — Halton 3 run (Brutto kick)

CC — Smith 39 pass from Mirer (Hawkins kick)

CC — Sutton 5 run (Hawkins kick)

CC — FG Cheek 45

CC — Haynes 30 pass from Mirer (Hawkins kick)

CC — Sutton 20 run (Hawkins kick)

CC — Sutton 23 run (Hawkins kick)

SA — Hurtado 47 run (Brutto kick)

— John Maffei is a sports reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune