Cub Football - Loyola defeats Cathedral with dominant defensive performance - League play begins

Spurred by a suffocating performance by its 'Wolfpack' defense, Loyola defeated highly regarded Cathedral, 17-7, on Friday at L.A. Southwest College to close out its non-league schedule. A brilliant defensive game plan was drawn up by the Cub coaching staff and Loyola's stop squad executed it to near perfection as the Phantoms' vaunted aerial assault was all but completely grounded.  Cathedral's quarterback was constantly under pressure and rarely found an open target. The Phantoms' offense, which had been rolling up huge yardage in its first three games, was held to 164 yards of total offense by the Cub 'Wolfpack'.

Loyola's defensive unit, comprised of outside linebackers DAKOTA SMITH, TOMMY VANIS and JACOB McBRIDE; inside linebackers JACK FITZGERALD and JORDAN McMILLAN; and defefensive backs ALEX JOHNSON, NATHAN BUSTOS, DEAMIL AGUILAR, JR., KEVIN PARADA and ALEX BLAKE; and down linemen BRAYDEN UTLEY, SCOTT KASE, and MARCUS AGUILAR, played with speed and fury for a full 48 minutes. In its last ten quarters of play, the 'Wolfpack' has relinquished just seven points.

The game plan on offense for Loyola was to keep the ball away from the high scoring Cathedral offense by controlling the game with time consuming drives, and that objective was met as the Cubs led 7-0 at halftime, thanks to a one yard TD run by Smith at the 6:27 mark of the first quarter. Junior quarterback NATHAN PRIESTLEY hooked up with Johnson on a beautifully executed play action touchdown strike with 10:49 left in the game to increase Loyola's lead to 14-0. Junior kicker NICHOLAS BARR-MIRA  booted a 34-yard field goal with 5:41 remaining in the contest to make it 17-0. The Phantoms finally got on the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter.

Cub senior punter COLLIN FLINTOFT played a huge role in the victory, averaging 45.6 yards on his punts, consistently forcing Cathedral to start drives in poor field position. Smith was a workhorse on offense, rushing for nearly 100 hard earned yards. He also made several sacks on the defensive side of the ball. If there were a game MVP, Smith would be at the top of the list of worthy recipients.

As the resurrection of Cub Football continues, the most important component of championship level teams - defense - is being developed with impressive results. Loyola is giving up an average of just 12.5 points per game.

The quest for a Mission League title begins on Friday as the Cubs will travel to Sherman Oaks to battle undefeated Notre Dame (4-0) whose head coach is looking to record his 300th win.

Loyola (3-1) has not yet come close to playing its best football.  There is a lot to look forward to as the Cubs will continue to show the prep football world that Loyola is on its way back. The victory over Cathedral improved Loyola's series record in the rivalry that dates back to 1927 to 31-12-1.

Loyola's sophomore team downed Cathedral, 21-6, behind a strong defensive effort on Saturday at home. The Cub defense was led by STEPHEN ARRELANO, CHAD BAILEY, MARIANO UY. and RYAN QUINTANAR.  NIKKO GONZALEZ and BLAKE NEITHART made TD catches, and ETHAN EARLE rushed for a score. MIKE JONES had two interceptions for Loyola.

Playing against talented freshman teams is tough enough, but competing against a Cathedral squad that included gifted, bigger, stronger and faster sophomores was too tall an order for Loyola's frosh team last Thursday at Smith Field.  The final score was 34-6 in favor of the Phantoms, but the level of competition will help the Cubs down the road.