Quarterback Jordon Brookshire scored on a 70-yard run on the first play of the game and the Cardinal Newman High School football team never looked back, trouncing Justin-Siena of Napa, 47-6, Friday night in Santa Rosa.
Cardinal Newman improved its overall record to 10-2 as the Cardinals move to the semifinals of the CIF North Coast Section Division 4 playoffs.
“This was a great team effort,” Brookshire said. “Everyone succeeded at their job and did what they were supposed to do.”
Scoring all 47 of their points in the first half, the Cardinals’ offensive line hit every key block, Brookshire said. He finished with 11 carries for 198 yards and two touchdowns and completed two of his five pass attempts for 52 yards and a touchdown.
After Brookshire’s 70-yard scoring run in the first 20 seconds of the game, he found junior wide receiver Damian Wallace for a 48-yard touchdown play, extending the Cardinals’ lead to 14-0.
“That gave us a lot of momentum,” Brookshire said, “coming out fast like that.”
The Braves answered with a 2-yard touchdown run by senior running back Austin Smith at the end of the first quarter. It was, however, the last they would see of the end zone.
On the Cardinals’ next drive, Brookshire took the ball 54 yards, before senior running back Michael Ortola sealed the drive with a 1-yard touchdown.
Wallace intercepted junior quarterback Aiden Willard’s pass attempt on the following drive, which led to Ortola scoring his second touchdown of the game on a 23-yard run.
Ortola found another hole in the Braves’ defense and carried the ball for 29 yards and the touchdown.
“Our offensive line is crazy insane,” Ortola said. “I love to play behind them and the passion that they have makes it a fun game.”
Ortola finished with eight carries for 73 yards with three touchdowns and five tackles on defense, while senior middle linebacker Bala Triolo led the defense with seven tackles.
“You just put everything in it,” Ortola said. “You never know when your last play is going to be.”
The Cardinals only needed a third down on three of their eight possessions in the first half.
After sophomore defensive back Mark Boshetti broke up a third down on Justin-Siena’s next drive, Brookshire took the ball down the field for a 35-yard touchdown on the following possession.
“This was a great motivational game for us, coming out early and scoring fast,” he said. “They are a great team and it shows what we can do as we get deeper into the playoffs.”
Senior free safety Derek Raffo intercepted Willard’s pass on the next play, and Brookshire, again, ran the ball 15 yards for a Cardinals touchdown, bringing the tally to 47-6, and shutting out the Braves in the second half for the win.
Willard finished with 8 carries for 62 yards and was 7-for-15 for 54 yards.
Next Friday, the Cardinals host the winner of today’s game between No. 3 seed Fortuna and No. 6 Piedmont.