Since the Santa Rosa parochial school began playing football in 1966, there’s only one school in the state with a better record. The history includes a 47-game win streak that stood as the state record for 18 years. The Cardinals now have all of their scores in one archive provided by Cal-Hi Sports.
Up next in this series: Escalon. For more on the Cal-Hi Sports football archives project and on how we can help your school, CLICK HERE.
There’s a good reason why Cardinal Newman High of Santa Rosa named its football field after the school’s first head coach, Ed Lloyd.
Most new programs struggle in their early years, but not when Lloyd started at the school located north of Santa Rosa on the Old Redwood Highway and within shouting distance of the well-known Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.The Cardinals won their first two games in 1966, went 7-1-1 by their third season and were unbeaten at 9-0 by 1969. In fact, Lloyd never had a losing season in the years he was at the helm of the program until 1985.
Cardinal Newman’s claim to fame on the statewide landscape, of course, is its 47-game winning streak that began with a 30-18 win in the seventh game of 1972 and was not stopped until a 24-8 loss to San Marin of Novato in the second game of 1977. The Cardinals, who were led by future UCLA and Philadelphia Eagles’ star Jerry Robinson during the height of the streak, broke the state record at the time that was at 46 games set in 1965 by nearby St. Helena and tied in 1973 by Temple City.
One of Cardinal Newman’s most lopsided wins during the streak ironically came in 1973 when the Cards routed a somewhat unknown East Bay Catholic school at the time, De La Salle of Concord, 48-6. De La Salle would eventually break Cardinal Newman’s record in 1995 and as most know took its win streak to the insane total of 151.
Because of its own long win streak and the subsequent success that Cardinal Newman has had under later coaches, especially Ed Monahan and current head coach Paul Cronin, the school’s reported record of 405-124-12 since its first game of 1966 is one of the top 10 all-time in the state. In fact, since 1966, De La Salle is the only school in the state with a better winning percentage.
There are some other newer schools with a higher winning percentage, but none of those schools go back to 1966.
One of those newer schools, Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, was the team that Cardinal Newman played in the very first CIF state bowl game. It was the first of three bowl games played in 2006 that was the first year in which the current CIF bowl game system began. The CIF hadn’t had a state football final of any kind since 1927 before that day.
School enrollment was the only criteria the CIF used in that first year of the bowl games so even though Oaks Christian at the time was the No. 1 overall ranked team in the state, the Lions were in the Division III game and got matched up against Cronin’s club.
The Cards were heavy underdogs because they were facing an unbeaten team, since they had suffered an early-season upset to crosstown Montgomery and actually had a difficult time in the CIF North Coast Section Division II final against Hayward.
Although Oaks Christian didn’t have its big-time running back/linebacker Marc Tyler (out with a broken leg), the Lions still had Notre Dame-bound QB Jimmy Clausen.
Cardinal Newman used a ground-control offense led by running back Brian Hutton and quarterback Ryan Lingle to nearly pull off the upset. The Cards had a fourth-down play inches from what would have been a go-ahead touchdown with 31 seconds left but were flagged for a false start. Ellio Torrano then kicked a 29-yard field goal to tie the score at 20-20.
In overtime, however, Oaks Christian scored on its second play while Cardinal Newman couldn’t match in four plays.
Two years later, the Cardinals returned to the CIF Division III bowl game and lost 28-6 to St. Bonaventure of Ventura.
In recent seasons, Cardinal Newman hasn’t been as good as those bowl teams but in 2012 went 11-2 and lost to CIF Division III bowl game participant Marin Catholic by just 42-37 in the NCS finals.
Many Cardinal fans also have been closely following the progress of University of Arizona All-American linebacker Phillip “Scooby” Wright, who was a standout on that 2012 team. Wright last season won the Bronko Nagursky Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, all presented annually to the nation’s top college defensive player.
Here are some of the other Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa football records that the school now has in its possession courtesy of this archive initiative:
REPORTED ALL-TIME RECORD HEADING INTO 2015 SEASON:
405 WINS, 124 LOSSES, 12 TIES
Note: No forfeits are showing either wins or losses in any season in school history.
75.9% WINNING PERCENTAGE
(Based on half-win, half-loss for ties)
(Second-best winning percentage in state history for schools with minimum of 200 wins)
Best Records For Single Season
12-0 – 1975
12-0 – 1976
10-0 – 1974
9-0 – 1969
9-0 – 1970
9-0 – 1973
11-0-1 – 1982
Worst Records For Single Season
3-7 – 1986
3-7 – 1998
Most Points Scored (Single Game)
76 – VS. Healdsburg, 1973
70 – VS. Piner (Santa Rosa), 2010
63 – VS. Ukiah, 2007
63 – VS. Elsie Allen (Santa Rosa), 2008
62 – VS. Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco), 2000
Most Lopsided Wins
76-6 – VS. Healdsburg, 1973
63-0 – VS. Elsie Allen (Santa Rosa), 2010
59-0 – VS. Elsie Allen (Santa Rosa), 2006
58-0 – VS. Analy (Sebastopol), 1973
62-6 – VS. Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco), 2000
Most Points Allowed (Single Game)
56 – VS. Campolindo (Moraga), 2014
55 – VS. El Molino (Forestville), 1966
55 – VS. Central Catholic (Modesto), 2005
48 – VS. Del Oro (Loomis), 2007
Most Lopsided Losses
56-14 – VS. Campolindo (Moraga), 2014
34-0 – VS. Valley Christian (San Jose), 2010
35-3 – VS. Marin Catholic (Kentfield), 1998
Records Against Notable Opponents
37-4-1 VS. Santa Rosa*
21-2-0 VS. Casa Grande (Petaluma)*
36-7-0 VS. Ukiah
37-8-3 VS. Piner (Santa Rosa)
14-2-0 VS. Elsie Allen (Santa Rosa)
14-4-0 VS. Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa)
13-4-1 VS. Petaluma
33-17-0 VS. Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park)
12-9-0 VS. Marin Catholic (Santa Rosa)
*Casa Grande broke 18-game losing streak against Cardinal Newman with win in 1999 playoff game. Santa Rosa on current 0-20-1 winless streak vs. Newman with tie in 2002.
Longest Winning Streaks
47 – 1972 (won last three) to 1977 (lost in 2nd game to San Marin)*
25 – 1968 (won last five) to 1971 (lost in 3rd game to Marin Catholic)
19 – 1982 (won last seven after tie) to 1983 (lost in final game to Miramonte)**
18 – 1995 (won last 11) to 1996 (won first seven)
*Established state record at the time.
**Part of 28-0-1 unbeaten streak.
Longest Losing Streak
0-7 – 1986 (team won first two, then lost seven in a row)
Note: There is only one other losing streak in school history that lasted to five games.
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