St. Francis is passing the time

At times its offense stumbled and at times its defense excelled.

At the end of a day of ups and downs at the seventh annual St. Francis Passing Tournament, St. Francis High walked away knowing it had some improving to do, but in the end, seven-on-seven still isn’t the real deal.

“I’m pretty happy where we’re at,” Golden Knights Coach Jim Bonds said. “This isn’t football really.”

Bonds’ squad went 2-3 over the afternoon, emerging from pool play 1-2 before defeating Moorpark in the quarterfinals and losing to eventual tourney champion Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the semifinals.

“I thought we came out a little flat,” Bonds said. “We didn’t play as well as we’re capable in the early rounds.

“This [was] an inconsistent effort through the day.”

The biggest problems for St. Francis came with dropped passes and not getting the ball off in time.

“We had some drops and some bad passes,” Bonds said.

The Golden Knights started the day with a 26-15 win over Pasadena Poly, before falling to Royal, 33-9, and Valencia, 37-23, in pool play.

In the quarterfinals, St. Francis squeaked by Moorpark, 19-18.

Reigning All-Area Player of the Year Dietrich Riley and Luther Walker were perhaps the biggest highlights on the day.

Riley took a Justin Posthuma pass in the flats and sprinted 31 yards for an 8-3 lead before Posthuma hit Walker for the point-after.

A Chris Cabrera interception, which is worth two points in passing leagues, put St. Francis up 11-10, before Walker hauled in a score from Justin Sciarra for a 17-10 lead. Sciarra then hit Jeff Johnson on the conversion.

Against Notre Dame, though, the offense never got going in a 27-12 defeat.

Interceptions by Riley and Walker stood as the only points, as Notre Dame built a 26-4 edge.

“He not only had a great day, but he had a great summer,” said Bonds of Walker.

The Walker-led defense made its first stop to make the score 26-5, before Posthuma found Johnson for the Golden Knights’ only touchdown of the game.

Notre Dame went on to beat Royal, 28-26, in the final.

For St. Francis, Bonds isn’t getting too excited about anything until the pads come on and the linemen join the skill players on the field in mid-August.

As for the dropped balls and bad passes, “that can be fixed,” Bonds said.

That’s really what the summer’s for.

“We’re gonna take a look at [the tapes] and make some adjustments.”

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