Football St. Anthony

PREVIEW: St. Anthony vs. Salesian, Football

The562’s coverage of football in 2023-24 is sponsored in part by the MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center Foundation and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Foundation

Tonight the St. Anthony Saints return to a place they know very well at Salesian High School for a non-league game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Two years ago, St. Anthony and Salesian played a pair of epic games. In their regular season Del Rey League clash the Mustangs held on to beat the Saints 43-41 on their way to an undefeated league championship. But St. Anthony got its revenge in the CIF-SS Division 10 semifinals with a 49-48 win on the road.

This is a small selection from our report of that playoff thriller:

As Salesian lined up for the game-tying point after attempt with 20 seconds left, St. Anthony senior lineman Taoipu Laulu had a decision to make:

“Should I run up or stay back?” Laulu said.

Well… Laulu made the decision to run up and blocked the extra point, all but securing the victory for the Saints.

“It’s the Samoan in me,” Laulu said when asked about how he was able to get high in the air to block it.

The Mustangs attempted an onside kick but the ball didn’t go far enough as the Saints held on for a wild 49-48 victory in the CIF Southern Section Division 10 Semifinals.

“It’s surreal,” Laulu said. “All I want to do is celebrate.”

CLICK HERE to watch that highlight video

This season, St. Anthony (2-1) has gone through some ups and downs already with big wins over Jefferson and West Torrance before a lopsided loss to Dominguez at home.

Salesian (3-0) has beaten South Torrance and Village Christian handily. Sandwiched between those games was a dramatic 14-13 win against Summit from Fontana. The Mustangs love to run the ball and running backs Ayden Ramirez and Cameron Crutcher each have three touchdowns.

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.