NCS Football: Salesian Dominates Second Half In Division VII Title Win
Salesian exploded for 22 points in the fourth quarter to break open a close game against Ferndale and win its first NCS football title since 2014 with a 50-29 victory in the North Coast Section Division VII championship game Saturday night at Alhambra.
Pride coach Chad Nightingale said that it was a matter of his team cleaning up some mistakes it made in the first half.
“We came out in the second half, didn’t make those mistakes and absolutely dominated,” he said.
The Pride (11-2), seeded No. 1, was tied with No. 2 Ferndale 21-21 at halftime, but Pride quarterback Ronald Robertson, who had an excellent game, ran for a touchdown in the third quarter as Salesian led 28-21 entering the final period. It then scored three straight touchdowns on Robertson passes to Elijah Satcher and Kareem Sullivan, and a pick-six by Kailan Chang.
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“One of the things I’m very proud of is the kids really stay in the moment,” Nightingale said. “They focus on the opponent at hand.”
Robertson finished the game with three touchdown passes, as he also connected with Chang for a score in the second quarter. Nightingale also raved about the play of lineman Princeton Toki. “Our run game went through him,” Nightingale said.
Sullivan and Justin Gutierrez led Salesian’s ground attack. Gutierrez scored the first touchdown of the game on a run. Dominic Fontanilla also returned a kick for a touchdown for the Pride against Ferndale (10-3).
“I’m excited for the kids,” Nightingale said. “They have worked hard all year long. The kids keep reminding me we were predicted to finish 5-5 and finish third in our league.”