What more could St. Mary’s High football fans want from its 2014 opener.
The Rams host the Santa Rosa-Cardinal Newman Cardinals Friday at 7:15 p.m. at Sanguinetti Field, hoping to build upon a 4-1 Tri-City Athletic League campaign and a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff appearance.
St. Mary’s has plenty to motivate it from that appearance, when it lost by a touchdown to Yuba City.
The Rams have multiple Division I prospects, and a wealth of experience. It begins the season against three private schools like itself in Cardinal Newman, Central Catholic and St. Ignatius.
I’ll be there at Friday night’s matchup, our Game of the Week, updating live on Twitter.
For now, here are players to watch for the Cardinals and Rams:
QB – JORDON BROOKSHIRE, Cardinal Newman, So.
Brookshire is not only one of just two sophomores on Cardinal Newman’s roster, but a very rare underclassman starter on coach Paul Cronin’s team.
He had a heck of a varsity debut, torching Churchill County of Fallon, Nevada, for 176 yards passing and two touchdowns and 223 rushing yards and three more TDs.
He’ll have his hands full with St. Mary’s defense, though, led by our next one to watch.
LB – KHALIL HODGE, St. Mary’s, Sr.
Hodge had 102 tackles and an interception as a sophomore, and Rams coach Tony Franks thinks he’s a legitimate D-I prospect. Makes sense, as Hodge already has an offer from NCAA D-I FCS Sacramento State.
At 6-feet, 218 pounds, Hodge must be a masher and work to help contain Brookshire, who seems to be a legitimate dual-threat quarterback.
LB – PAT EVANS, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
According to Phil Barber of “The Press Democrat”, Evans is the Cardinals’ leading returning tackler after racking up 64 as a junior.
He must be a force, like Hodge, in containing Rams quarterback Noah Righetti, tailback Marcell Spady and wide out Demetrius Ferguson.
WR – DEMETRIUS FERGUSON, St. Mary’s, Sr.
Having someone like Ferguson around should make Righetti’s first turn as a starting varsity quarterback that much easier.
As a junior, Ferguson had 30 receptions for 529 yards and four touchdowns. He’s 5-foot-11, 155 pounds and sounds like the kind of player who’s a menace in open space.
MORE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Noah Righetti (St. Mary’s QB, Sr.)
Marcell Spady (St. Mary’s RB, Sr.)
Daniel Montijo (St. Mary’s LB, Sr.)
Dwight Jackson (St. Mary’s LB, Sr.)
Reed Palmer (Cardinal Newman OL, Jr.)
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