SANTA CRUZ—It’s been said that the best defense is a good offense. St. Francis High proved it Friday evening with four interceptions that resulted in three touchdowns, just in the first half alone.
Senior running back Johrdan Garibay had another stellar night with three touchdowns and 129 yards rushing on 10 carries for the Sharks in a 42-7 victory over Harbor High in Pacific Coast Athletic League Santa Lucia action on Oct. 9.
Junior running back Nehthaniel Madrigal-Hernandez notched two touchdowns and 85 yards rushing on 13 carries, while senior Garrett Lee had two interceptions, including one for a 30-yard touchdown.
“I was just thinking immediately like where is the end zone,” Lee said. “I ended up finding it, felt good, felt real good.”
St. Francis should be feeling good now that it holds a four game win streak and a 3-0 record in the league standings. Lee said that they play every game like it’s their last.
“We’re really gunning for that league title this year,” he said. “We stay hungry every week, we stay humble too, most importantly. We go to work every week.”
St. Francis started off the season fighting through adversity, losing players due to injury. Senior defensive back Charlie Valencia is slowly making his return to the starting lineup after being sidelined with injuries to both shoulders.
“I felt like I was ready, came back aggressive,” Valencia said. “It’s just fun playing with these guys. We’re running the ball really good right now too. We’re dominating teams but we’re staying humble while we’re at it.”
The Sharks have outscored their opponents 169-29 and they are averaging 42.3 points per game during that win streak. Valencia said at practice they keep focused as winning league is on everyone’s mind.
“We wanted to win league, we have big goals this year,” he said. “We know we have the talent to do it. We’re pushing to do it.”
That same mentality carries over to coaches as well. St. Francis coach John Ausman talked about building consistency in their offense.
“I can’t say enough about the guys upfront,” Ausman said. “Zach Paz at center, Adam Martinez, Josh Alvarez at guard, Noel Aquino, and Abram Tovar at tackle, and Seth Vazquez at full back. Without them we’re not where we’re at right now.”
Harbor senior quarterback Cash Rosburg ended any hope of a St. Francis shutout with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. He finished with a team-high 34 yards rushing and he finished 19 of 30 through the air for 136 yards passing.
But the Sharks defense was constantly on the pursuit of him, forcing the interceptions and sacking him four times.
“[Rosburg] is a heck of a football player,” Ausman said. “[He] can get away really easily and for the most part we were able to contain him.”
St. Francis will meet Harbor for a second time this season in a non-league contest at Cabrillo College on Oct. 23 at 7:30pm
“It’s another game, the intention is always to improve yourselves as a team,” said Ausman. “And if you don’t worry about who your opponent is, then you can do that. It’s consistently going to work.”
Pajaronian sports editor Juan Reyes contributed to this story.
St. Francis 42, Harbor 7
Up Next: Harbor High at Cabrillo College
When: Oct. 23 at 7:30pm