Article & Video By Tyler Hendrickson
The road has been unkind to St. Anthony (0-2) so far this season as the Saints fell 49-14 at Warren (1-0) on Friday night in Downey. The host Bears opened their season in impressive fashion, scoring touchdowns on each of their first three drives as they displayed a sharp aerial attack guided by quarterback Chris Venegas. Despite the loss, St. Anthony head coach Mario Morales sees a brighter future for his young team.
“There are a lot of things we saw that we’re going to be good at down the road,” Morales said. “We made some inexperienced mistakes tonight, and that’s not to take anything away from Warren, they’re a good football team… We’re going to rebound from this next week and get ready for our home opener.”
St. Anthony was able to move the ball well on the ground at times, but was forced to lean on the passing game in an attempt to catch up with the high-powered Bears offense. On the Saints’ first-half scoring drive, running back Nick Billoups (12 carries, 80 yards) and running back Donovan Castillo (nine carries, 66 yards) shared the load on a four-play drive on the ground, culminating in an 11-yard TD scamper for Castillo to make it a 15-7 Warren lead with 4:18 left in the opening quarter.
St. Anthony ran the ball 16 times in the first half for 99 yards, but after trailing 30-7 at halftime, called just 11 running plays after intermission.
“We ran the ball fairly effectively, but we had to throw the ball more than we wanted to tonight,” Morales said. “We thought we could run on them and I thought we did an okay job of that.”
Venegas and the Bears offense just proved to be too much as the senior quarterback was 17/23 for 353 yards and four TDs. His favorite target on the night was Desmond Carnes who had five grabs for 146 yards and two scores. Eimajah Hunter had 73 yards on six carries and a touchdown and Nikko Fierro-Tuala added 62 yards on eight carries with a pair of scores.
The Saints did get the final score of the night as Billoups found Blake Banks for an 18-yard score in the fourth quarter.
St. Anthony will make its Clark Field debut next Friday as the Saints host Palm Springs, while Warren hosts Huntington Park.