Cardinals dominate in win that clinches outright Frontier title

Bishop Diego put an exclamation point on its Frontier League football championship Saturday night with a dominating performance against visiting Villanova.

The Cardinals, scored on seven straight possessions, rolled up 434 yards in total offense and their defense held the winless Wildcats to a mere 103 yards in 54-3 romp at La Playa Stadium. The win completed a 4-0 league campaign for the  No. 5-ranked team in the CIF East Valley Division and improved their overall mark to 8-1 going into Friday’s Little Big Game against Carpinteria at La Playa.

For senior running back Brandon Gonzalez, the championship was a longtime coming. He is a four-year varsity player.

“It feels really good. I finally got the monkey off my back,” said Gonzalez, who rushed for 97 yards on 16 carries and scored four touchdowns.

When Gonzalez wasn’t punishing Villanova defenders with his hard running, Jack Gregson was blasting through big holes and getting around the corner for huge gains. He rushed for 159 yards on just seven carries and had a 46-yard scoring run on the Cardinals’ third play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

Quarterback Nolan Tisdale contributed with a pair of touchdown passes to Justin Brosnan and Reese Moulton, and back-up quarterback Gabe Molina ran for a score.

The defense was flying all over the field and delivering some big hits. It held the Wildcats to 53 yards rushing.

It was a thorough performance worthy of a championship team.

“I’m  happy for these guys,” coach Tom Crawford said. “They’ve been working hard since January and they’ve been very coinsistent and very dedciated. I was real pleased with the way they played tonight. You always worry they’re not going to come out with enough  focus and so forth, but they played hard and  they played well the entire game.”

It also was pleasing for Crawford and his staff to see everyone contribute in the game that gave it the outright championship.

“It’s one thing to constantly preach to them how much they contribute, and some of them don’t always believe you. But to be able to make sure they get in a game like this, a game where you wrap it up outright, it’s important,” he said.

After stopping Villanova on a fourth-and-4 at the Bishop 47, the Cardinals capitalized on the good field position. Tisdale started the drive with a 15-yard pass to Moulton and Gonzalez finished it with a 2-yard run on fourth-and-goal.

On the Cardinals’ next possession, Justin Brosnan had a 10-yard run, Gregson ripped off runs of 19 and 15 yards and Gonzalez finished the drive with a 5-yard sweep for a 14-0 lead at 10:51 of the second quarter.

Brosnan caught a Tisdale pass in the right flat and bolted into the end zone for a 20-0 lead at the 4:59 mark. (The Cardinals missed the PAT)

A 31-yard punt return by Sam Kwock set up the next scoring drive. Gonzalez ran over from 3 yards to make it 26-0.

Bishop recovered a fumbled kickoff return at the Villanova 23 and scored three plays laker on a 8-yard pass from Tisdale to Moulton. Brosnan kicked the PAT for a 33-0 halftime lead.

The Cardinals’ offense continued to click in the second half. On their first possession, Gregson broke outside and outran the defense for a 46-yard score. Moulton tried his hand at kicking the PAT and converted.

Bishop made it seven straight possessions with a TD when Gonzalez scored from the 4. Luis Ortiz came in and kicked the PAT for a 47-0 lead.

The scoring streak came to end on the eighth possession as the Cardinals fumbled. Villanova (0-9, 0-4) put together its best drive of the game, reaching the Bishop 7 before settling for a field goal to avoid the shutout.

Playing with a running clock in the fourth quarter, Molina guided Bishop to one more score. He finished it with an 8-yard run.

The Cardinals now turn their attention to rival Carpinteria.

“Our guys did a good job by staying focused and playing one game at a time. I’m sure they’ll  be excited come Monday. I won’t worry about the intensity of our practices next week.”

Said Gonzalez: “I can’t wait for Carp. I haven’t beaten them yet, so I’m looking forward to it. We’re coming after them.”

Villanova…0  0  3  0 —  3

Bishop Diego…7  26  14  7 — 54

First Quarter

B—Gonzalez 2 run, Brosnan kick, 4;12

Second Quarter

B—Gonzalez 5 run, Brosnan kick, 10:51

B—Brosnan 11 pass from Tisdale, kick failed, 4:59

B—Gonzalez 3 run, kick failed, 2:07

B—Moulton 8 pass from Tisdale, Brosnan kick, :42

Third Quarter

B—Gregson 46 run, Moulton kick, 10:39

B—Gonzalez 4 run, Ortiz kick, 8:04

V—FG 24, Dempsey, 1:22

Fourth Quarter

B—Molina 8 run, Ortiz kick






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