Crusaders suffer first loss at Marin Catholic

Mistakes proved costly for St. Bernard’s at Marin Catholic on Saturday afternoon, as the Crusaders fell 47-14 to the Wildcats.

The visitors turned the ball over three times in the first half alone, with the Wildcats converting all three takeaways to TDs, and taking a 28-7 lead into halftime.

St. Bernard’s moved the ball well at times in that first half, and took a 7-6 lead after quarterback Will Omey scored on a three-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.

Two late first-half turnovers, one on an interception and one on a fumble, however, gave the home team two more opportunities and the Wildcats scored on both to put some distance between them and St. Bernard’s.

The Crusaders got the second half off to a promising start, driving 57 yards on 6 plays and scoring on a nine-yard TD toss from Omey to Justin Hagler to cut the deficit to seven.

That, however, was the last time the visitors found the end zone, as the Wildcats quickly ended any hope of a dramatic comeback.

“They were a very good team,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said of the Wildcats. “And they’re big, and we got wore down late in the game.”

With the win, Marin Catholic improved to 2-3, while the Crusaders dropped to 5-1.

St. Bernard’s was the second Big 4 team to lose for the first time over the weekend, with Del Norte losing at Fortuna on Friday night.

Tomlin knew his team would have to play near perfect ball to stay in the game against a big Marin Catholic team.

“I think we battled and we competed, and I thought we had a chance early on,” the coach said. “We just kind of had a bad stretch towards the end of the first half.”

The Crusaders have been relatively turnover free for much of the season.

“You have back-to-back big turnovers and all of a sudden a seven-point game is a 21-point game,” Tomlin said.

Ball security drills will be a priority for the Crusaders at practice this week, as they get set for a trip to Washington to play Tri-Cities Prep next weekend.

“We’re going to learn more from this loss than our first five wins,” the coach said.

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