Windward doesn’t let Rams off easy

Windward came into Friday night’s CIF playoff game ranked as the No. 1 eight-man football team in the state.

Cate now knows why after a 45-0 mercy-rule thrashing at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium.

Cate's running back Randy Person gets ready to throw against Windward on Friday night.

Cate's running back Randy Person gets ready to throw against Windward on Friday night.

The Rams (6-2) were able to stop the Wildcats (10-0) from scoring on just two possessions and Windward’s defense held Cate to only two first downs on offense. Adding to the uneven equation was a minus-4 turnover ratio for the Rams.

“They’re No. 1 for a reason,” said Cate head coach Ben Soto. “I told my kids that the sun is going to shine tomorrow. We’ll look back and we’ll find out our two losses this year were to the No. 1 ranked team and the No. 2 ranked team.”

Windward, which defeated Calvary Chapel 56-0 in its playoff opener, had extra motivation coming into Friday night’s game, having been stunned 40-37 by the Rams in the same round of the playoffs in 2007.

“We certainly did not look past them, especially considering what happened here two years ago,” said Wildcats head coach Scott Napier, whose team was burned by Will Meldman’s six touchdowns in that game. “We haven’t forgot about that. We’ve kind of used it to motivate our kids. Even though we played them last year and beat them it’s still in our gut.”

With Meldman gone, Windward posted a 50-0 win in last year’s playoffs. This time, the third-straight year the two teams have met during the postseason, the Wildcats shut down Cate’s latest touchdown-machine Randy Person.

“We kind of concentrated on him,” said Napier, knowing that the ball would be in the senior’s hands much of the time.

The Wildcats were tougher to predict, having a variety of weapons that produced a trio of multi-touchdown performances. Bryce Napier opened up the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run and added a 53-yarder in the second quarter to put Windward up 26-0.  

Sam Miller crossed the goal line twice on runs of 13 and 14 yards while Blayr Jimmerson scored on both sides of the ball, on an 11-yard scamper and a 36-yard interception return in the third quarter that triggered the mercy rule. 

It was a frustrating night on the opposite sideline for the Rams, whose longest play of the day – a 23-yard scramble by quarterback Mackie Greason – was called back by a holding penalty.

“I told our kids, but for one team, this is the way it’s going to end,” Soto said, still sad to see his seniors go. “Does that make it a horrible season? No.”

With only three seniors on the team, Cate will return most of its whole team next year minus Person, Ugo Nwasike and Roy Young.

“We’ll build on that and get after it,” added Soto, always the optimist.  

WINDWARD 45, CATE 0

Windward 19 20 6  x – 45

Cate     0    0   0   x  – 0

First Quarter

8:16 – Bryce Napier 1-yard run (kick fail)

3:56 – AJ Frank 10-yard reception (kick fail)

2:24 – Sam Miller 13-yard run (kick good)

Second Quarter

9:24 – Bryce Napier 53-yard run (kick good)

6:40 – Sam Miller 14-yard run (kick good)

2:27 – Blayr Jimmerson 11-yard run (run failed)

Third Quarter

8:52 – Blayr Jimmerson 36-yard Interception Return

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