Holy Bowl heavyweights


Photo by Alex Woodmansee

Christian Hall ‘21 shedding a tackle against Otay Ranch High School, a game in which the Dons bested the Mustangs 63-0.

Shea Linnehan, Sports editor

The Cathedral Catholic High School varsity football team takes on Saint Augustine High School, its long time rival and Western League foe, in the Holy Bowl for the 58th time at home tonight at 7 p.m. 

CCHS (7-1) (2-0) and SAHS (6-1) (1-0) are among the San Diego Section’s finest squads, both programs are currently ranked top three in the county, respectively, according to MaxPreps.

The Dons and Saints have split the last seven matchups, but CCHS owns the all-time series 35-22. 

CCHS is approaching this game the same as usual, but it knows the significance of the game. 

“We take all of our opponents seriously, so it isn’t too much of a change,” CCHS running back Jack Kilpatrick ‘21 said. “We need high energy and simply need to be ready for the noise Saints brings.” 

CCHS looks to repeat as Holy Bowl victors following a 34-14 victory last year, but SAHS has other plans as it rolls into Manchester Stadium riding a two-game hot streak.

“Everything will be left on the field at Manchester Stadium,” SAHS linebacker Max Simon ‘21 said. “Our blood, sweat, and tears will reside on the field, and there will be no regrets Friday night.”

The Dons believe that victory comes by playing through the whistle on every play for four quarters. 

“We need to finish every play and fly to the ball,” Kilpatrick said.

CCHS and SAHS both possess pro-styled lines, offensively and defensively. SAHS thinks the game will be won in the trenches.

“A unified front will deem us victorious,” Simon said.

With tickets being sold out for Friday’s Western League heavyweight bout, the attendance proves to be electric.

“The atmosphere will be incredible, but we are ready, and most importantly, we are excited,” Simon said.

The Dons feel the home field advantage will work in its favor, and break the streak of seven straight decisions won by the visiting team.

“With all the noise from our fans and student section, it will definitely help out,” Kilpatrick said.

Both sides are prideful for playing beside their teammates and school.

“This is beyond our football team and our athletic program,” Simon said. “It is a community coming together to unite, we are nothing without our community and their support towards our team.” 

“The Dons program is about being a leader on and off the field,” CCHS center Jake Cassidy ‘20 said said. “It is about playing for the players who came before you and the ones of the future.”

Offensively, the Dons stack up well with its balanced attack, boasting higher receiving and rushing yards per game than SAHS.

On the defensive side of the ball, Saints has forced 17 total interceptions and 21 total sacks compared to CCHS’ four interceptions and 12 sacks. 

“Saints is always a big game for us because we are playing the game for all the Dons who played in it before us,” Cassidy said. “However, we need to treat it just like a regular game.”