For more than three quarters, Cathedral High‘s offense was in a deep sleep. Once awoken, the Phantoms tallied two fourth-quarter touchdowns, and rallied for a 21-10 nonleague win over Glendale last Friday night in the football season opener for both at Moyse Field.
Four turnovers was the culprit for Cathedral’s slow start, as it trailed 7-0 at the half when Nitros’ junior quarterback Alex Yoon (60 yards rushing on 11 carries) scored on a six-yard run with eight seconds left in the first quarter.
The touchdown was made possible after lineman Tony Ramos recovered Cathedral sophomore quarterback Hayden Rettig’s fumble.
“I’m happy with the way we played defense,’’ said Glendale Head Coach Alan Eberhart. “We had some late turnovers. We just got in our own way.”
The Nitros finished with three miscues, and Cathedral five.
The Phantoms, coming off an 11-2 record while reaching the CIF Southern Section semifinals, have only two returning starters on offense and defense.
“We’re young, with not a lot of varsity experience,’’ said Cathedral Head Coach Kevin Pearson before the game. “That team was mostly seniors, and they’ve graduated. This team is going to be good, but they still have to prove it.”
One who already has proven himself is senior running back Kristaan Ivory, a starter since his freshman season and a three-time all-league selection.
After a tepid start, Ivory, who has a 4.0 grade-point average, and is being recruited by several Ivy League schools, gained 18 yards in the first half, along with a fumble, but came back and cut through Glendale’s defense for 58 yards in the second half.
Ivory’s seven-yard score with 28 seconds left gave Cathedral an 11-point lead and capped a 40-yard drive. Ivory carried the ball 11 times, and also snared six passes for 47 yards.
The Nitros (204 total net yards) took a 10-7 lead on Nick Villapando’s 25-yard field goal with 9:42 showing in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t have first game jitters,’’ Eberhart said. “And we weren’t nervous or scared.”
Cathedral (369 total yards) tied it at 7-7 on its first possession of the second half, as Rettig led his club on a 52-yard march, culminating with a five-yard toss to freshman wide receiver Jeffrey Farrar with 5:53 left in the third quarter.
Cathedral sophomore running back Zachary Green’s 42-yard run set up Rettig’s eight-yard scoring pass with 7:32 remaining in the final quarter.
The 80-yard, six-play drive pushed the Phantoms’ advantage to 14-10.
Rettig (22 of 35 passes for 215 yards with three interceptions) was picked off for the final time by Glendale defensive back Alejandro Maravilla, and it gave the Nitros a needed lift.
With 2:25 showing, the drive began at the Glendale 34 but stalled four plays later when reserve quarterback Evan Norton was chased, threw the ball away, and was called for intentional grounding.
Norton, a junior with little experience, entered when Yoon (three of three for 84 yards) injured his ankle in the fourth quarter.