Loyola has big game on Friday
Coming off a one-sided loss to Alemany last Friday, the Cubs' are in desperate need of wins to keep their playoff hopes alive. The challenge Loyola faces this Friday is formidable as they will host the Notre Dame Knights, one of the hottest teams in Division 2. The Knights are coming off an impressive 38-7 win over Gardena Serra.
Kickoff on Friday is at 7:00 p.m.at Smith Field.
A LOOK AT THE KNIGHTS
Head coach Kevin Rooney’s Knights got off to a relatively slow start to the season, losing their first non-league contest to CIF Central Coast Section powerhouse Mountain View St. Francis, 23-12, in the Bay Area, followed by a heartbreaking 35-34 setback to Moorpark in game two. There was no shame in those defeats. St. Francis is ranked thirty-first in the state by MaxPreps, and Moorpark has a 5-1 record.
In its three non-league tilts heading into last Friday’s Mission League opener against Gardena Serra Notre Dame outscored Lancaster Paraclete, San Fernando and Lake Balboa Birmingham by the cumulative score of 160-26 (average score 53-9). It was each of those teams’ worst losses of the season.
Last Friday, the Knights made a resounding statement in crushing Gardena Serra, 38-7, in their Mission League opener in Sherman Oaks.
Notre Dame is run-oriented. It was averaging over 240 rushing yards per game going into last Friday’s contest. Senior speed back Christian Grubb (5-11, 170) leads the running crew with an eye-popping 10.8 yards per carry. Powerful sophomore Anthony Spearman III (5-10, 193) is the second leading back with a 7.2 yards per carry average. The team’s per game rushing average is a robust 7.7 yards per carry.
Sophomore dual threat quarterback Cooper Meek (6-3, 185) can fling it. He has a 59 % completion rate (15 yards per completion) and averages 6.7 yards per carry on the ground. Meek’s favorite target is 6-0, 188 lb. receiver Mckel Brossard. Spearman averages 18 yards per reception out of the backfield. The Knights’ offense is led by a powerful offensive line spearheaded by senior Daniel Fitzmorris (6-2, 285).
Sophomore linebacker Jacob Moore (6-1, 195) leads a stout Notre Dame defense with 67 tackles through the first five games. Junior inside linebacker W. M. Johnson (5-11, 207) had notched 37 tackles and junior defensive back Justin Horton (5-11, 160) recorded 28 stops heading into the Serra contest.
The Knights are sold on both sides of the ball. One of the keys to the game for the Cubs will be holding Meek in check, as he is as capable hurting teams with the run as the pass. Last Friday he had 103 yards passing and 74 rushing yards. Loyola’s offense will probably need to score at least four touchdowns if the Cubs hope to notch a win.
Loyola and Notre Dame (founded in 1947 by The Congregation of the Holy Cross) first met on the gridiron in 1950. Led by two-time All-CIF running back Frank Layana ’52, the Cubs vanquished the Knights in the teams’ inaugural meeting, 37-14. Loyola, the Catholic league champion under head coach Jack Bouchard, advanced to the CIF Southern Section Large Schools playoff semifinals that season. The Cubs’ two largest margins of victory over Notre Dame were in 1963 (46-0) and 1975 (46-7). Loyola was undefeated (12-0) and won a second consecutive CIF Southern section AAAA title in 1963. The Cubs were CIF AAAA and National Champions after a 13-0 campaign in 1975.
Loyola leads the series with a 33-18 overall record.
2018 Notre Dame Record (4-2)
St. Francis (Mtn. View) 23 NOTRE DAME 12
Moorpark 35 NOTRE DAME 34
NOTRE DAME 55 Paraclete 7
NOTRE DAME 56 San Fernando 7
NOTRE DAME 49 Birmingham 12
NOTRE DAME. 38 Serra. 7
Loyola sophs down Alemany JVs 45-28; coached by all-alumni staff
Last Thursday, Loyola's sophomore team ran roughshod over Alemany's JV squad by a score of 45-28. The going has not been easy for the Cub sophomores who have been playing JV teams which include upperclassmen. The experience of playing older opponents will only make the players better prepared for the next level.
Loyola's sophomore coaching staff is manned entirely by dedicated Loyola graduates, each of whom has been instilling the Cub ethos of toughness and accountability.
Head coach ANTHONY HOLLY '87 (RBs, DL, Offensive Coordinator) was an All-CIF nose guard on Loyola's 1986 team which finished with a 9-3 record. Holly is one of the toughest players to have ever donned Cub Blue.
Assistant coach Fred Sainz '83 (Defensive Coordinator, WRs, Inside Linebackers) was a bruising, ball-hawking All-CIF safety on Loyola's 1982 squad that finished 9-2-1 and advanced to the CIF playoff quarterfinals. Assistant NICOLAS COTTON (QBs, DBs, Special Teams Coordinator) quarterbacked the Cubs to an 8-3 record in 2011. JEROD ADAMS '15 (RBs, Outside Linebackers) played outside linebacker for the varsity in 2013 and 2015. He is the son of longtime head basketball coach JAMAL ADAMS '90.
Offensive and Defensive Line coach JOE MURRAY '78 was an offensive tackle on Loyola's nationally ranked CIF AAAA semifinalist squad in 1977. He earned All-CIF AAAA accolades and was also named a Parade All-American. Murray was awarded a football scholarship to USC, where he started for the Trojans as an offensive lineman. After his graduation from Troy, Murray played professionally for the NFL's Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts. Murray travels daily from his home in South Orange County to coach the Cub linemen.
Loyola's sophomore squad is fortunate to have these dedicated Cub grads teaching them the Big Blue way to compete.
Keeping tabs on Cubs in College Football
Former Loyola MVP MYLES BRYANT '16, who dominated at multiple positions for the Cubs during his brilliant three year varsity playing career, is replicating his Loyola exploits at the University of Washington as the Huskies' starting nickel corner. Bryant, a junior, was named Washington's defensive Player of the Week after his standout efforts in the 'Dawgs 35-7 victory over previously unbeaten BYU on Saturday.
Loyola has big game on Friday