By Larry Moko
A strong ground attack powered the Bishop Ryan Celtics to victory.
After consecutive losses in which they were held to a combined total of 23 points against the St. Thomas More Knights and Cardinal Newman Cardinals, the Celtics travelled to Cathedral and defeated the previously unbeaten Gaels, 34-21, Friday.
“Our offensive line played well,” Bishop Ryan coach Darren Maludzinski said. “Our big boys up front were pushing them back. It gave our running backs some time to run.
“All facets of the run game were working well. We got a couple of hundred yards rushing.”
A key ball carrier for BR was Dylan Bernardo who piled up the yardage when called upon and scored on a 1-yard run.
“I think my strong point is running inside and getting yards for first downs,” said Bernardo, a 6-foot, 211-pound Grade 12 student.
Said Maludzinski: “Dylan puts a lot of work in the off season into his physical fitness. It shows on the football field.
“In the gym in squats quite a lot of weight so he’s got a big lower body. People are interested in him playing at the next level.”
Anthony Ventura, Lucas Ventura, Sebastian Masotti, Luca Jones, Andrew Rees and Nathan Condello shared in the inside and outside ball-carrying duties for the Celtics, with linebacker Condello scoring from two yards.
“Our rushing game opened up the passing game,” the Bishop Ryan coach said.
Through the air, Celtics quarterback Nathaniel Krbavac struck twice for scores – 12 yards to Anthony Ventura and five yards to Liam Iaquinto.
“Nat is a really good quarterback and leader,” Bernardo said. “Our team played amazing today. It’s a positive sign.”
The Celtics also got a 16-yard field goal and two converts by Anthony Ventura along with a 26-yard field goal and three converts by Jayrome Martini.
“You’ve got to give credit to Cathedral,” Maludzinski said. “They’re resilient. They never give up.”
Cathedral, which trailed 7-0, 17-8 and 31-14 at the quarter breaks, relied mainly on the aerial attack engineered by Grade 11 quarterback Devin Quammie. He threw for a pair of touchdowns – 18 and 24 yards to Dante Lentini – and hooked up with receivers for several other significant gains.
Quammie – he chipped in with three converts — also bounced off a tackler to run into the end zone for a one-yard TD.
“There’s no doubt in my mind our athletes are as good as anyone in the city,” Cathedral coach Tony Tassone said. “We can stretch a lot of defences. Our quarterback is just learning the senior game where maybe you pass a lot more than in junior. So there’s a lot more reading of defences and so forth. He’s coming along nicely, though. He’s a student of the game.”
The BR defence set the tone early when end Josh Butler intercepted a swing pass to set up the game’s first touchdown.
In other HWCAA senior football action, More remained atop the standings with a 41-0 victory over the St. Mary Crusaders and Cardinal Newman topped the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves, 41-3.