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SAN FRANCISCO — Thick fog rolled in and out of J.B. Murphy Field at St. Ignatius on Saturday afternoon. The sun’s presence only occasionally graced the multicolored turf.
But not even the dreariest of elements could keep St. Ignatius from shining. The Wildcats defeated Archbishop Mitty 28-7 in the first round of the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.
They will play Valley Christian in the semifinals next weekend, a rematch of a game Valley won 17-7 during the league season.
Teddye Buchanan, the Wildcats’ two-way playmaker, gleamed in his second game back from injury. Under center, Buchanan completed 15 of 17 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown and ran for 62 yards on 11 attempts.
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Along with holding things down at quarterback, Buchanan also helped command a St. Ignatius defense that allowed seven points or fewer for the fifth time this season.
“He’s a tremendous athlete and player,” St. Ignatius coach John Regalia said. “He’s so special to our program for a lot of things off the field with his leadership and everything. Kinda see that today on the field with how he comes out and how he plays and how guys respond to him.”
Buchanan’s backfield mate Joe Celentano did a lot of the heavy lifting as well, totaling two touchdowns and 104 rushing yards on 14 carries. Fellow running back Jahsai Shannon had a score of his own and 62 all-purpose yards.
“I think our o-line has shown steady improvement over the course of the season, and really has done a really nice job, especially in our league season against a very tough defensive league,” Regalia said.
St. Ignatius set the tone early by scoring a touchdown in their first three drives, all of which were fueled by explosive plays.
Joe Celentano has his second touchdown of the game, this one being a four-yard run. Might be the nail in the coffin.
— (Poetic) Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) November 16, 2019
Celentano got the fireworks started for the Wildcats, finding space on the outside for a 44-yard touchdown run to give his team a 7-0 lead. Shannon increased that lead to 14 points with a big run of his own, breaking off several tackles to score from 37 yards.
Buchanan got in on the scoring fun. But unlike his backfield mates, he’d show off his arm, finding Michael Harrison in the end zone on a beautiful post route from 20 yards out. The Buchanan-to-Harrison connection gave St. Ignatius a 21-0 lead that they took into the half.
Mitty landed its one and only punch to open up the second half. Remello Murphy dropped back, scrambled, evaded a sack, then fired a perfect strike to Shamir Bey on the run for a 44-yard touchdown with 2:05 left in the third. Murphy’s acrobatic throw cut St. Ignatius’ lead to 21-7, keeping Mitty in the game.
St. Ignatius ended any hope of a comeback the following drive. Celentano capped off a seven-minute, 14-play series with a four-yard touchdown, getting those points right back and upping the Wildcats’ lead to 28-7, the eventual final score.
Source: East Bay St. Ignatius takes care of Mitty, gets rematch with Valley Christian