When No. 10 Saguaro traveled out of state to take on Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, California), it turned out an Arizona-bound player would stand in their way.
Zavien Watson, a running back who is committed to the University of Arizona for baseball, scored all three touchdowns for the Dons. They took down Saguaro 18-10 in a game that came down to a final goal-line stand.
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Here are a few takeaways from the game:
Watson on the field
Zavien Watson must be a darn good baseball player to choose that over football, because rushing for three touchdowns against this Arizona powerhouse is no small feat.
Cathedral Catholic relied on him, handing Watson the ball 27 times for 171 yards, according to the San Diego Tribune.
The plan was clear: Keep the ball away from the star Saguaro cornerbacks. It’s near-impossible to move the ball through the air against the Sabercats when Chosen 25 cornerback Kelee Ringo and four-star Washington commit Jacobe Covington man the position, and Cathedral Catholic didn’t even attempt it Saturday.
Quarterback DJ Ralph attempted just four passes, according to the East Valley Tribune. He’s ranked three-stars by 247Sports (though no ranking on the Composite), so it’s not like he’s not a good quarterback.
The game plan just didn’t dictate for him to throw, and as Cathedral got the lead, running the ball could eat time.
Without Ralph throwing, Cathedral rushed for 251 yards, according to the San Diego Tribune. That’s impressive.
— Football Recruit. (@FootballRecruit) September 1, 2019
Saguaro’s offense stymied until too late
Three-star Saguaro quarterback Tyler Beverett’s second interception of the game set Zavien up to punch home his second touchdown.
At that point, Saguaro trailed 12-3. The Sabercats had managed just one field goal over the first three quarters.
Beverett finally did get the offense going in the fourth, completing a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Matt Polk and then running in the touchdown, but Cathedral drove down field and scored again.
Saguaro blocked the PAT, setting the offense up for one last stand.
Again, Beverett got his team down field. Saguaro had a fourth-and-goal from the four-yard line with 19 seconds left.
— Zach Alvira (@ZachAlvira) September 1, 2019
Cathedral Catholic forced an incompletion, icing the game.
Saguaro’s defense a was good, but it always is. That wasn’t a question mark for the team. If its offense can figure out how to get hot earlier, opponents won’t be able to run out the clock on the Sabercats.
Cathedral Catholic is on its way
Cathedral Catholic appeared to be on the outside of the loaded upper-echelon of top California teams.
Then the Dons took down this Saguaro team in a close battle. Now, a new question arises: Are they legit?
Next week, Cathedral Catholic can prove itself against Centennial (Corona, California). Centennial’s only losses from 2017 through this week are to Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California), St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida).
If Cathedral Catholic can join that elite squad, it will have shown it’s not just a very good California team, but a great one.