(Players react as St. Francis’ Joseph Ramirez (12) intercepts a Harker throw in the endzone Friday. Photo by Carlos Torres/For the Pajaronian)
WATSONVILLE — After losing a heartbreaker to the Watsonville High Wildcatz a week ago, the St. Francis Sharks decided to avenge the win that slipped away by producing an impressive rushing performance of their own on Friday.
The Sharks faced off against The Harker School Eagles at Geiser Field, who came off a 26-2 drubbing of the Marina Mariners just a week earlier and were looking to extend their dominance over Monterey Bay teams.
The game started off slow, with a few exchanged punts from both teams. After having a back-and-forth battle with The Harker School for the first half, St. Francis pulled away in the second half all the while amassing 335 yards on the ground, and an impressive 28-10 win.
The Eagles began the game with a long and precise 10-minute drive down to the St. Francis two-yard line, when a 4th and goal stop by the Sharks defense prevented Harker from getting on the scoreboard.
The game was tied 0-0 until the six-minute mark of the second quarter, until Andrew Seymour gave the Sharks a ray of light when he broke a 49-yard touchdown run down the middle for a St. Francis touchdown that put the score at 7-0.
St. Francis’ Andrew Seymour (3) braces for impact as The Harker School’s Marcus Anderson (16) barrels his way for a first down. Photo by Carlos Torres/For the Pajaronian
In the ensuing drive, Eagles quarterback Anthony Meissner led Harker School down the field. Even though the Eagles weren’t able to cross the endzone, a 38-yard field goal as time expired by way of Jared Anderson put the game within distance at 7-3.
After a few halftime adjustments, St. Francis came back swinging, with a five-yard touchdown run by Joseph Ramirez that gave the Sharks a firm 14-3 lead.
With enough time left on the clock to make something happen, Meissner lead the Eagles down the field with an opportunity to make it a one-score game.
Meissner threw a dart intended for Marcus Anderson in the endzone, but instead the Sharks’ own quarterback, Ramirez, plucked it off the air to dash the hopes of a Harker comeback.
In the following drive, Andy O’Rourke roared past the Harker sideline on a 40-yard sprint that put the game at 21-3, and gave the Sharks a comfortable lead going into the fourth quarter.
Seymour sealed the deal by intercepting Meissner, which gave way for an Abel Martinez five-yard touchdown run that hushed the opposing sideline, and sealed the deal for the Sharks.
In the waning minutes of the game, Meissner hooked up with Jared Anderson over the middle on a nice 55-yard run and catch that cut the Sharks’ lead to 18.
O’Rourke led the Sharks with 13 carries, 136 yards and one touchdown.
Seymour wasn’t far behind as he ended up with seven carries, 95 yards, one touchdown, an impressive 13.7 yards per carry, and one interception.
Martinez rounded up St. Francis’ impressive ground game with eight carries, 71 yards and a touchdown run.
St. Francis improves to 3-1 and will have a bye next week. They’ll travel down the Salinas Valley to face off against the King City Mustangs on Sept. 28.
The Harker School drops to 3-2 and will try to bounce back with a trip up to San Francisco to face off against Lowell High School (0-1) on Friday.
Other week 4 scores:
Pajaro Valley 41, Lynbrook 6
North Monterey County 29, Greenfield 7
Burlingame 49, Watsonville 7
Sharks defender Maso Alabbad (24) tackles Harker’s Jared Anderson (9). Photo by Carlos Torres/For the Pajaronian