Coaches deal with losses in different ways.
Brother Rice’s Brian Badke certainly would have preferred a victory from his team Friday against Providence.
However, after the Crusaders dropped a 45-42 thriller to the Celtics, Badke not only showered his players with praise, he did so with a genuine smile on his face.
“That was an unbelievable performance,” Badke said. “Our effort shows us how good we are. We’re down 28-7 to a very good ballclub and we came right back and tied the game up. We may have fallen short in the end, but these kids should be proud of themselves.”
Quarterback Alex Alarcon did everything but fill the water bottles for Rice. The senior passed for 430 yards and three touchdowns, and added another 29 yards rushing and two scores.
“That was one heck of a performance by Alex,” Badke said. “He’s one tough, talented kid.”
Receiver Ricky Smalling, a sophomore, had a coming-out-party, recording 11 receptions for 207 yards and three scores.
Chasing 21 points to start the second half, the Crusaders pretty much had to abandon their running attack, which was held to 72 yards. By the time the third quarter had ended, however, a pass-happy Rice offense had tied the game at 28-28.
The offensive line of Dan Berry, Paul Malone, Alex Negoski, Pat Hosty and Anthony Kudra did a fine job providing Alarcon and the receivers time to shine.
“My line blocked its butt off and guys made plays,” Alarcon said.
If Rice can upend St. Rita on Friday, it will earn a share of the Catholic League Blue championship with Providence. If Loyola beats Mount Carmel on Saturday, the Ramblers, too, will get a piece of the Blue.
Bloom on a roll
With Saturday’s 48-0 win over Rich South, Bloom assured itself a piece of the Southland Conference crown, its first since 2007.
However, if the Blazing Trojans can knock off slumping Rich East on Saturday, they’ll win the conference outright, something the program hasn’t achieved since 1984.
“Absolutely, that’s our goal,” Bloom running back Emmanual Williams said. “We’re not celebrating winning a share of the conference. We want to win the conference by ourselves.”
Not even sloppy field conditions could slow down Bloom’s offense Saturday. Williams accounted for three touchdowns, and quarterback Jordan Benavides added two scores to guide the Blazing Trojans to a 41-0 halftime advantage.
Bloom’s offensive line of Ken Bonifield, Dwayne Salmon, Alexzander Clark, Antonio Perez and Prinze Ellis-Vela opened up some large holes that allowed the offense to click.
Defensively, the Blazing Trojans held the Stars offense to 121 yards.
“We played well on both sides of the ball,” Bloom coach Tony Palombi said. “What I’m most pleased with is how the guys are playing with a lot of heart. They’re playing for each other.”
Hunniford utilizes weapons
One of the most impressive aspects of Providence quarterback Justin Hunniford’s five-touchdown performance Friday against Brother Rice was his willingness to spread the wealth.
Hunniford found four different receivers for scores: Nate Vejvoda twice, and Miles Boykin, Connor Creed and Mike Markasovic once each.
“Miles and Nate get a lot of attention, but we have five or six receivers we can go to,” Hunniford said. “When we spread it out like we did, it prevents opponents from focusing so much on Miles and Nate.”