Flyers shut out by Holy Cross at home
bY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:30 a.m.
Updated Oct. 1, 2011 at 5:01 a.m.
The Flyers never had a chance.
More accurately, they never gave themselves a chance.
St. Joseph threw an interception on its very first play from scrimmage, beginning a downward spiral leading to five first-half turnovers and 40 unanswered points by visiting San Antonio Holy Cross.
The end result was a resounding district win for the Knights, who departed from Patti Welder Stadium with a 46-0 victory Friday.
"It seemed like every time we would start moving the ball, something bad would happen," St. Joseph head coach Donnie Slatter said. "That's hard to handle, but we have to learn to overcome it and continue to play."
The Flyers, however, were unable to handle adversity against Holy Cross, especially in the opening half.
St. Joseph never got closer than 33 yards away from the Knights' end zone in the first half, punting or turning the ball over on each of its nine possessions.
"They controlled our offensive front," Slatter said. "They were getting a lot of penetration into the backfield and disrupted a lot of thingson the run and the pass."
St. Joseph accumulated just 67 total yards in the first half and finished with 125 yards, playing without the team's top offensive lineman Dominic Cavazos, who injured his knee during practice.
Defensively, the Flyers were unable to slow down the Knights' hurry-up offense.
Led by senior running back Tyler Cardenas' 147 rushing yards and quarterback Sam Moreno's 159 passing yards, the Knights finished the game with 404 total yards.
The Flyers limited Holy Cross to just six points in the second half, but the damage was already done.
A key injury also hurt the Flyers on defense as linebacker Matt Perez also missed the game with a knee injury.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Flyers immediately attempted some trickery as running back Kion Wells took a handoff and threw an unsuccessful pass that was intercepted, setting up an easy scoring opportunity for the Knights, who capitalized with a 10-yard touchdown. The extra point, however, was blocked and Holy Cross held a six-point advantage with 10:01 on the clock.
The squads then exchanged unproductive drives before Wells lost the first of three Flyer fumbles in the half on St. Joseph's first play of its third possession. It took just two snaps for Holy Cross to find the end zone and take a 13-0 lead with 4:28 remaining in the first quarter.
St. Joseph (1-4, 1-1 TAPPS Division I, District 2) was forced to punt after just four plays on its next drive, and, once again, the Knights needed little time to score, posting their third score on a 1:36 drive to take a 20-0 lead.
With 1:29 remaining, Flyer running back Alex Ferrell lost another fumble, and Holy Cross scored on a four-yard run by Cardenas as time expired in the quarter, giving the visitors a 27-0 lead following the first quarter.
Due to the lopsided score, Slatter not only had to coach his team, but he also had to find a way to motivate his stunned players.
"We just had to keep being positive with them and tell them that things would get better," the coach said. "I told them to just keep fighting because you never know what can happen."
A glimmer of hope was presented when the Flyers recovered a fumble at the Holy Cross 33-yard line, but it took just two plays for St. Joseph to lose its third fumble of the half. Making matters worse, Knights defensive back Hasan Ali returned the fumble 87 yards for a score, putting Holy Cross (5-1, 2-0) ahead 34-0.
Following St. Joseph's fourth punt of the half, Holy Cross put together a 91-yard scoring drive to take a 40-0 lead into halftime.
The half ended with an Alvarez interception as time expired.
Prior to the turnover, St. Joseph was flagged for a false start, preventing a 52-yard field goal attempt.