Football

Here’s a first: Serra finishes regular season 10-0, something not even Tom Brady accomplished

SAN MATEO — Tom Brady’s teams couldn’t do it. Neither could Lynn Swann’s.

As Serra coach Patrick Walsh noted after the game Saturday, it’s not easy to go 10-0. But this collection of Padres, a superbly talented group that triumphantly navigated through road games against Folsom and De La Salle to open the season and then the West Catholic Athletic League grind, did just that.

They became the first team in Serra’s long history — one that has included Brady and Swann — to go 10-0 in the regular season, completing the mission with a 43-7 thumping of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Serra took charge immediately, forcing a three-and-out to start the game and then executing a play the team had worked on in practice.

On Serra’s first offensive snap, Maealiuaki Smith threw a backward pass to Michael Perazzo, who caught the ball on the right side of the field, stopped to set his feet and let it fly.

The deep pass landed in Grant McGovern’s hands, and he made his way across the goal line for a 6-0 lead.

Serra's Grant McGovern (22) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Sacred Heart Cathedral during the first quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Serra’s Grant McGovern (22) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Sacred Heart Cathedral during the first quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

It only got better from there for Serra as the Padres played what Walsh described as a complete game to clinch the outright WCAL championship.

Had Serra lost, it would have shared the title with St. Francis.

The Padres nearly went 10-0 three years ago but lost to St. Ignatius in their 10th game. They didn’t let the opportunity slip away this time.

“We can now talk about it,” Walsh said. “It’s never been done before. I told the team the reason why it’s never been done before is because those types of things are hard. When nevers are erased, never happens because it’s difficult. The fact that we had an opportunity to do something that’s never been done before and accomplish that is a great testament to the entire community of Serra High School.”

Serra led 6-0 after one quarter and then broke open the game with 23 points in the second period.

Jaden Green’s 44-yard run with 10 minutes to go before halftime made it 12-0.

“We were up six and I’ve just got to make a big play for my team,” Green said. “I feel like we played great. We all did our jobs.”

Serra's Jaden Green (3) scores a touchdown against Sacred Heart Cathedral during the second quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Serra’s Jaden Green (3) scores a touchdown against Sacred Heart Cathedral during the second quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

Jabari Mann’s 1-yard run up the middle widened the lead to 19-0, and Smith’s 42-yard strike to Jayden Weber pushed the advantage to 26-0 with 3:15 left in the quarter.

“That was a great throw,” Weber said. “Play-action got them good. Great ball.”

Smith threw for 221 yards and three touchdowns. His 41-yard completion to tight end Seamus Gilmartin, who did some impressive running after the catch, made it 36-0.

Smith’s 3-yard TD pass to Joey Villaroman completed the scoring for Serra.

The Padres’ defense dominated throughout, holding stars RL Miller and Jerry Mixon Jr. in check while making quarterback Aidan McGrath uncomfortable.

“We knew coming into this game that RL and J were going to be a problem,” Green said. “We just wanted to shut them down.”

With the clock running continuously because of the score, SHC (6-4, 4-3) scored its only points when Mixon threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Miller in the fourth quarter against Serra’s reserves.

The home team’s second-quarter eruption ended when Dylan Joudieh kicked a 39-yard field goal on the final snap of the half after Smith completed a 29-yard pass to Weber that moved the ball to the 22 with 4.1 seconds on the clock.

Yes, it was that kind of game for Serra, which will be the No. 1 seed in the CCS Division I playoffs when the brackets are announced Sunday.

SHC also is expected to be in the D-I playoffs.

When Saturday’s game ended, Walsh was asked if in his wildest dreams could he have envisioned an undefeated regular season given the schedule he put together.

“If I was a gambling man, I probably would not have bet on that,” Walsh said. “I don’t think very many others would have. Nevertheless, we did a good job of embracing the journey and staying humble in the focus of that journey. It got us to play maybe our best game of the year today.”

Sacred Heart Cathedral's Jerry Mixon Jr. (6) watches as Serra's Brooks Trimmer (17) attempts to intercept a pass during the fourth quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Trimmer would drop the pass. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Jerry Mixon Jr. (6) watches as Serra’s Brooks Trimmer (17) attempts to intercept a pass during the fourth quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Trimmer would drop the pass. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Serra's Teddy Chung (12) tackles Sacred Heart Cathedral quarterback Aidan Mcgrath (11) during the first quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Serra’s Teddy Chung (12) tackles Sacred Heart Cathedral quarterback Aidan Mcgrath (11) during the first quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Serra's Seamus Gilmartin (85) scores a touchdown as Sacred Heart Cathedral's Jay Murphy (34) fails to catch him during the third quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Serra’s Seamus Gilmartin (85) scores a touchdown as Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Jay Murphy (34) fails to catch him during the third quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Sacred Heart Cathedral head coach Antoine Evans glances towards the scoreboard during the second quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Sacred Heart Cathedral head coach Antoine Evans glances towards the scoreboard during the second quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Sacred Heart Cathedral's RL Miller (4) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)Sacred Heart Cathedral’s RL Miller (4) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of their game at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Serra defeated Sacred Heart 43-7. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

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