By Mr. Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit October 2016
Cleveland, Ohio - The Saint Ignatius Blue, who for most part played with the under control aggression that Head Coach Rodney Gallaway and his staff are teaching, appeared to be headed for a special night after quarterback Patrick Keane hooked up with promising wide receiver Will Thornton on a touchdown pass in the right corner of the Lorain Avenue end zone.
Rory McConville kicked the extra point and the Blue Cats led, 7-0, with 7 minutes and 53 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Keane to Thornton TD strike came off a fourth down and goal from the 20-yard line.
With 2:14 left in the first half, Bedford used the first of its three crucial big plays to get back in the game after taking possession at its 25-yard line.
Faced with a third-and-14 from their 21-yard line, the Bearcats' coaching staff got the ball in the hands of a young man with some special talent, wide receiver/defensive back Jiovanny Holmes.
Holmes, who made an impact throughout the game, caught a little swing pass in the right flat, cut back to the middle and, in what was an impressive display of vision, balance and speed, bounced outside and outran the pursuit into the left corner of the scoreboard end zone for a 79-yard touchdown with 31.9 seconds to go in the first half.
Led by the charge of defensive lineman Rico Levert, the Blue Cats were able to stop Bedford's attempt for a 2-point conversion run and Saint Ignatius clung to a one-point lead entering halftime.
With a haze starting to form around an Autumn moon that proudly hovered over Lorain Avenue Wednesday night, Bedford brought a roar from its faithful with big play No. 2, a 62-yard touchdown burst up the middle by tailback Andre Bethea. Fullback Marquise Moore powered his way into the Lorain Avenue end zone for a 2-point conversion and the Bearcats led, 14-7, with 6:39 remaining in the third quarter.
Despite the two big offensive plays by Bedford, the Blue Cats' defense had its moments, including a heads-up fumble recovery by linebacker Christopher Mathews that Christopher advanced to the Bearcats' 4-yard line.
Two plays later, Saint Ignatius' talented tailback James Crosby swept the left side and into the Lorain Avenue end zone for a 4-yard touchdown.
Unfortunately for the Blue Cats, they botched the extra-point attempt following Crosby's TD and Bedford still led, 14-13, with 8:54 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats came up with their third big play of the night, an interception by cornerback Willie Speight deep in Bedford territory with 4:17 remaining to be played.
Saint Ignatius Blue, which slipped to 1-3, got some consistently strong defensive efforts from Levert, lineman/linebacker Thomas Maloney, linebacker Thomas Domanick and defensive back Aidan Mielke, among others.
Coach Gallaway was very pleased with the consistently strong effort his Blue Cats put forth all evening.
Saint Ignatius' No. 1 Freshmen Team, the Gold Cats, will take a 6-1 record into Saturday's 10 AM matchup with Archbishop Moeller at Otterbein University, will travel to Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep on October 20th for a 6 PM matchup with the Ramblers - a trip down I-90 East to the city time forgot that this old-timer always looks forward to - and will close out the season with the highly anticipated encounter versus St. Edward's No. 1 Freshmen Team on October 27th at 6 PM on Wasmer Field.