Loyola regains footing in close loss to top ranked team in San Diego in home opener

Loyola opened the season with a workman-like 24-15 road win over Highland of Palmdale, but then stepped up to the CIF's top division when it traveled to Saddleback College in Mission Viejo to take on Santa Margarita in game two. The end result was not pretty. The Cubs were worked over from beginning to end in a disheartening 37-7 blowout loss.

So few gave Loyola much of a chance last Friday against state top 25-ranked St Augustine, the number one ranked team in the CIF San Diego Section. The Saints had outscored their first two opponents 91-21. But Loyola came to play and held a 7-3 halftime lead, before succumbing, 17-14, in what proved to be a competitive intersectional clash. Senior safety BRIAN PARKS intercepted a St. Augustine pass in the first half which set up a a fourth-and-goal SEAN O’MALLEY touchdown pass to junior receiver TOMMY VANIS. With 1:37 left in the game O’Malley found junior running back JACOB McBRIDE for a TD down the middle of the field, putting an exclamation point on a well-executed two-minute drill. The late touchdown was followed by an onside kick, which was nearly recovered by the Cubs. It was a game where a failure to cash in on some golden opportunities - including the inability to recover a Saints muffed punt deep in St. Augustine territory - prevented what would have been a statement-making win had those opportunities been seized.

Loyola did show grit and character while coming up just short. Loyola’s ‘Wolfpack’ defense made significant improvement from the Santa Margarita debacle.

The hard fought effort against the Saints projects well as strides are being made by the Big Blue. On Friday night the Cubs have another chance to take a quantum leap, when they host what may very well be the best team they have played to date, old rival Cathedral. The Phantoms, who feature a prolific passing attack featuring a number of major college recruits and a fast, suffocating defense, have outscored their first three opponents by a combined score of 141-28. Friday’s game will likely draw a standing-room-only crowd as Cathedral is expected to pack the visitor’s stands at Smith Field.

Cub sophs roll St. Augustine

Last Thursday the Cub sophs hosted St. Augustine, and rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead. Loyola’s defense did not relinquish a single first down in the first two quarters. Head coach RIC FLORES cleared his bench in the second half. 

Running back HUNTER BALLARD was the difference maker for the Cubs, making big plays both running and receiving. The final score was 28-6. 

Loyola freshmen down Saints in San Diego

Loyola’s freshman team won a hard fought battle with St. Augustine in San Diego on Saturday, downing the Saints, 35-28, to improve its record to 3-0. 

The contest started with a big play as STEVEN ARELLANO took the opening kickoff and raced 90-yards for a Cub touchdown. After a sop by Loyola’s defense, quarterback DAVIS WARREN’s 30-yard pass to CARTER LINK set up a 31-yard touchdown run by KEVIN PARADA. ANDERSON BLEAK’s interception on the Loyola 32-yard line staved off an ensuing St. Augustine scoring threat. The Saints scored on a 20-yard pass off a scramble after a Cub punt to make the score, Loyola 14, St. Augustine 6. The Cubs answered with 75-yard, eight play drive, capped by a 22-yard Parada run to pay dirt to make the score 21-6 at halftime.

Loyola forced the Saints to punt on their first possession of the third quarter and quickly went 68 yards in three plays - all runs - scoring on a five-yard jaunt by Parada. The PAT attempt was no good and the score was 27-6 in favor of the Cubs. St. Augustine mounted a drive, but Loyola’s stop squad made a big play to squelch the threat on a 4th-and-goal play at the Cubs’ six yard line. Set up on a short field, the Saints scored on another pass play to close the gap to 27-13. Following an unsuccessful onside kick by St. Augustine, Loyola got on the board in just two plays with Parada scoring his twelfth TD of the season, bolting 44 yards to the end zone. The two-point PAT was good as holder ENRIQUE GARZA threw a pass to Link to make the score 35-14. Thereafter, the Cubs got a little sloppy. St. Augustine closed out the scoring with two late TDs - one set up by a Loyola turnover - but the Cubs emerged from a tough road game with a hard fought, 35-28, triumph.

The schedule does not get any easier as Loyola travels to Cathedral for a Thursday afternoon tilt against the Phantoms’ frosh-soph team, who has outscored its first three foes (Santa Fe (42-0), Burbank Burroughs (49-0) and Lynwood (47-0)), by the cumulative score of 136-0. Special thanks to Cub offensive coordinator FRED SAINZ ’83 for providing detailed game highlights from the tilt against St. Augustine.