Wilson’s 49-20 win over St. Anthony on Friday at Clark Field wasn’t always pretty, but good high school football rivalries rarely are, and both the Bruins (4-0) and Saints (1-3) can learn a lot from playing their 7th Street neighbor.
Wilson is off to its best start since the 1960’s and will likely stay ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 7 next week, but the Bruins committed too many penalties and gave up too many big plays for their coach staffs liking.
“If we’re going to do anything in the Moore League we can’t play sloppy like we did,” Wilson coach Mark Ziegenhagen said. “We gave up a chunk of yardage on defense, so we have to go back and look at it and see how we can improve.”
Quarterback Ryan Pettway led the Wilson attack with three passing touchdowns and a pair of rushing touchdowns. The senior now has 14 touchdowns this season. His TD passes were to Nick Timko (42 yards), Michael Bruner (63 yards) and Tyrie Robinson (49 yards) and his rushing scores were 67 yards and five yards.
Wilson ackup running back Peter Sio was the surprise of the night with two touchdowns and 170 yards on 13 carries.
“He stepped up,” Ziegenhagen said. “The rugby man from Somoa really filled in well tonight.”
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity to play football,” Sio said. “I know this is my first year so I’m giving up everything for my Bruins. I don’t feel scared in the game. I just feel excited.”
St. Anthony can also take a lot from the loss after showing impressive fight in the second half.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” St. Anthony coach Mario Morales said. “We make a lot of young guy mistakes but we’re learning. It’s a tough process but we’re still getting ready for league and playing good teams like this is going to help us in league.”
St. Anthony quarterback Lucas Lehmar completed 18 of his 23 passing attempts for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Fellow senior Riley Jenkins caught two of the scores, and Jason Porter caught the other one. Sophomore running back Sone Aupiu finished with over 100 all-purpose yards.
Morales, who used to coach at Wilson, was thrilled to see members of his 2004 Bruins team on hand, as well as many other familiar faces.
“This is what it’s all about, the community,” Morales said on the field after the game while greeting friends. “From little league though Belmont Shore rugby and whatever it’s just cool to see everyone together out here.”
Wilson has won four of the six most recent Battle For 7th Street rivalry games and will retain the trophy for the second consecutive year.