Football

High school football: St. Bonaventure grounds Archbishop Riordan’s high-flying offense

SAN FRANCISCO — Archbishop Riordan’s passing offense, a brilliant collection of talent directed by decisive sophomore quarterback Michael Mitchell Jr., can score from anywhere on the field.

St. Bonaventure-Ventura coach Joe Goyeneche knew that, so he unveiled a perfect “defense” for the Crusaders’ air attack in the visitor’s 24-14 victory in San Francisco on Saturday afternoon.

The Seraphs lined up behind tight ends and fullbacks and ran the ball for short but consistent gains, totaling 202 yards on 44 attempts. It’s a tactic Southern California opponents can expect to see from St. Bonaventure later this season.

“We both play in competitive leagues, two highly competitive leagues,” Goyeneche said. “We wanted our non-league schedule to prepare us for that.”

Riordan head coach Adhir Ravipati said his team should be prepared for the bruisers in the West Catholic Athletic League after duking it out with St. Bonaventure.

SAN FRANCISCO – St. Bonaventure RB Koen Glover (25) runs the ball in the fourth quarter. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

“St. Bonaventure is a great program and well known for being athletic, tough, and well coached,” Ravipati said via text. “They’re a WCAL caliber team and style of play, which we wanted to help us get ready for league play.”

Those St. Bonaventure forays into the line may not have resulted in highlights, but they kept Riordan’s talented receivers on the defensive side of the ball as defensive backs for most of the game.

Riordan had five possessions in the first three quarters.

Riordan senior Tyrone Jackson was one of those receivers who also played defense, and he flew around the field to help keep St. Bonaventure from breaking off the big play until late.

“I’ve been playing both sides on varsity for all four years,” Jackson said. “I was ready to play all four quarters on both sides.”

Ravipati said the team was missing several starters, which affected the team’s rotation not just on defense, but also on special teams.

Shorthanded Riordan clung to a slim 7-3 lead entering what would be a wild fourth quarter.

The craziness started when 6-foot-7 St. Bonaventure quarterback Kaden Glover — who is playing in place of injured starter Anthony Wolter — plowed into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown on third-and-goal to punctuate a 12-play drive and give the Seraphs a 10-7 lead with 11 minutes to go in the game.

“First half, we came out soft and kind of flat,” said Glover, adding that the chilly San Francisco wind was something the SoCal athletes had to adjust to.

SAN FRANCISCO - St. Bonaventure QB Kaden Glover celebrates after running for a fourth quarter touchdown. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan high school in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN FRANCISCO – St. Bonaventure QB Kaden Glover celebrates after running for a fourth-quarter touchdown. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

Riordan, which had been contained for most of the game, finally flashed the form that helped them put up over 35 points in its first two games against Sacred Heart Prep and Moreau Catholic.

Mitchell, who completed a school record 27 of his 39 passes for 282 yards, threw his second touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Chris Lawson with 8:46 left in the fourth.

The transfer from Foothill tracked the deep ball over his shoulder and hauled in the 35-yard touchdown, adding to his 13 catch and 134-yard day. Lawson also caught a five-yard TD in the first half.

“He’s a stud,” Goyeneche said. “[St. Bonaventure’s] Drew Cofield is a special corner and he was in perfect position, but Mike was putting the ball right on him.”

SAN FRANCISCO - Riordan receiver Chris Lawson (4) catches a p 35-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan high school in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN FRANCISCO – Riordan receiver Chris Lawson (4) catches a p 35-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

Sophomore wide receiver Cynai Thomas also had several big catches during the quarter and finished with 10 catches and 111 yards.

St. Bonaventure answered with a six-play drive that ended with Koen Glover running 25 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. The Seraphs’ only run of over 20 yards gave St. Bonaventure a 17-14 lead with 6:27 remaining on the clock.

After Riordan’s first three-and-out of the day, senior captain Cofield returned a punt for a touchdown to hand St. Bonaventure a two-score lead.

The San Francisco school could not score on either of its next two possessions as the Crusaders (2-1) were dealt their first loss of the season.

Riordan will enjoy a bye week before it starts West Catholic Athletic League play with a game against San Francisco rival St. Ignatius.

“The run-heavy attack and the really good running back, it was good to see that early,” Jackson said. “Now we can work on what we need to do to stop that.”

SAN FRANCISCO - Riordan coach Adhir Ravipati (headset) and St. Bonaventure coach Joe Goyeneche embrace after the game. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan high school in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN FRANCISCO – Riordan coach Adhir Ravipati (headset) and St. Bonaventure coach Joe Goyeneche embrace after the game. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN FRANCISCO - Riordan quarterback Mike Mitchell (9) throws a deep pass in the fourth quarter. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan high school in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN FRANCISCO – Riordan quarterback Mike Mitchell (9) throws a deep pass in the fourth quarter. Archbishop Riordan and St. Bonaventure-Ventura played in a high school football game at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

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