Alemany High Coach Enrique Lopez wouldn’t admit it even as he checked out the scoreboard after the game.
“We came out here expecting to get a good game from Harvard,” Lopez said. “And they gave us a good game.”
If Harvard gave the Indians a good game, they must have hid it somewhere among the capacity crowd. A good Harvard game was nowhere in sight as Alemany put the hurt on Harvard, 28-0, for a season-opening victory at Alemany Friday night.
Sean Casey, one of the area’s top quarterbacks, played in convincing fashion, completing 10 passes for 173 yards. One of those was an 80-yard touchdown shot to Scoop Augustus. A last-second look at Harvard’s defense prompted Casey to call an audible, sending Augustus into the clear.
“Harvard came out and were in the defensive formation that we had practiced against all week,” Lopez said. “Sean came out of the huddle, saw the defense, called the audible and it worked.”
Defensively, the Indians were most impressive. Alemany sacked Harvard’s Cory Thabit six times. The last sack forced Thabit to retire for the evening.
“After last season, we have learned to concentrate on defense a lot more,” Lopez said. Alemany managed only one league victory last season, compiling a dismal overall record of 3-7. “We learned some very big lessons from that. We ended up putting the best athletes on our defense and they’re doing as well as we had expected.”
Harvard’s offense was stuck in neutral early by a high-speed Indians defense, giving Casey and company enough time to go through the offensive playbook at the expense of the Saracens.
On Alemany’s second possession, Travis Bargeman took a 22-yard, third-down pass from Casey to the Harvard 14. On the next play, senior tailback John Vallone found a gaping hole in Harvard’s defense and dashed 14 yards for the first score.
Each of Alemany’s starters in the backfield scored. Dennis Mason, another senior tailback, followed tackle Hugo Correa and guard Kirk Stewart off left-center for a touchdown from the one late in the second quarter. The first half was capped by Casey’s bomb to Augustus.
After two sacks by the Indians’ defense in the third quarter, Alemany drove 43 yards in four plays with Alex Torres taking it in from the one.
“I was very happy tonight with the running game,” Lopez said. “And it’s because of our offensive line that we did so well.”
Deserving credit along with the tough Alemany defensive line was cornerback Ulmar Palrose. Palrose intercepted when Thabit tossed the ball out of a swarm of defenders and ran it to the 16. The theft set up Mason’s touchdown.
Harvard 0 0 0 0 -- 0 Alemany 7 14 7 0 -- 28 A--Vallone 14 run (Gartlan kick).
A--Mason 1 run (Gartlan kick).
A--Augustus 80 pass from Casey (Gartlan kick).
A--Torres 1 run (Gartlan kick).