Loyola dashes St. Rita’s playoff hopes

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St. Rita knew coming into Friday night that its playoff hopes were in serious jeopardy.

Catholic League Blue power Loyola was too much for the Mustangs, who will miss the state playoffs for the first time since 1999 thanks to a 28-7 drubbing at the hands of the No. 4 Ramblers.

The Mustangs (4-5, 0-4) will still have a shot at the Prep Bowl title.

“This will sting for a while but we will just have to refocus our goals,” St. Rita coach Todd Kuska said.

The Ramblers (8-1, 4-0) used a steady game plan that consisted of a lot of passing, and a lot of defense. Quarterback Peter Pujals was 21-of-37 passing for 167 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Luke Ford that covered 12 and 19 yards. He scored the other two touchdowns with his legs, from 35 and four yards out.

The 35-yarder on the first possession of the second half stung the most.

“We’ve had an unhealthy season all year and we couldn’t put it together,” St. Rita quarterback John Kelley said. “Loyola is one of the best, if not the best team in the state, and we knew this would be tough coming in here.”

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