That bell that is brought over to San Jose City College for each Bellarmine of San Jose home football game was being carefully loaded onto a truck roughly 30 minutes after the Bells played Serra of San Mateo in Northern California’s top game of the week.
The bell often rings multiple times during Bellarmine games, but on this night it only rang once as a stout Serra defense and a much more explosive than usual offense pushed the Padres to a 17-7 triumph.
Serra improved to 3-1 and showed that its 21-14 loss on Sept. 7 to state No. 1 De La Salle of Concord may have been more reflective of the Padres being that good than the Spartans needing a wake-up call.
The two teams were No. 10 and No. 11 in this week’s overall Cal-Hi Sports state rankings with the Bells in the higher position based on owning a seven-game unbeaten streak over Serra. Next week, the Padres not only will be in the top 10 but they’ll also move up due to No. 8 Alemany of Mission Hills being upset plus they could also move in front of No. 7 Servite of Anaheim, depending on how the Friars do on Friday in their own attempt to take down De La Salle.
“I have learned to enjoy a win like this, but not to get too high,” said Serra head coach Patrick Walsh. “In this league, wins are just so hard to come by. We played good on offense tonight, did a good enough of a job, but the star was the defense. They played out of their minds.”
Bellarmine quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels was harrassed all night and his receivers were blanketed as well. The Vanderbilt commit and Elite 11 national finalist only completed 10 of 26 passes for 101 yards and was intercepted twice. Both of those interceptions were by sophomore Kelepi Lataimua, who almost returned the second one on the last play of the game for a long touchdown.
Offensively, Serra junior Kava Cassidy powered for 103 yards on 23 carries and scored once. Senior Anthony Smock also passed for 167 yards with one TD on 10 of 26 attempts. Senior Hamilton Anoa’I caught a 25-yard TD pass, rushed the ball 58 yards on one series out of the Wildcat formation and also was a force on defense.
Bellarmine’s only score came in the second quarter on a 1-yard plunge by Carta-Samuels following a 26-yard pass to tight end Jacob Bergstrom to the 1-yard line.
Serra possibly could have won by a larger margin but was stopped on downs at the Bellarmine 14 and fumbled at the Bellarmine 33 late in the game.
Walsh also noted after the game that Notre Dame-bound defensive tackle Matt Dickerson, who has not played this season, is going to be re-evaluated regarding his lower back injury and might not possibly play at all this season.
“It’ll be too bad if we don’t get to have him this season, but he’ll be off to Notre Dame and that’s the important thing,” Walsh said.
Note: Anyone attending the game hear an announcement at halftime about keys being found in the press box? Well, um, after some frantic minutes at the car and going back into the stadium, take a guess who’s keys those were.