After my Week One viewing of Cretin-Derham Hall and Totino-Grace game, the bar has been set high for the 2018 high school football season. Cretin-Derham Hall’s 22-21 overtime victory is likely one of the best games anyone is going to…
After my Week One viewing of Cretin-Derham Hall and Totino-Grace game, the bar has been set high for the 2018 high school football season. Cretin-Derham Hall’s 22-21 overtime victory is likely one of the best games anyone is going to see all season. The game featured two of the Raiders’ biggest offensive stars overcoming early mistakes to show how good they can and will be this season.
The game could not have started worse for Raiders’ quarterback Danny Callahan. On his first series of downs, he was picked off by the Totino-Grace Eagles’ secondary and the pick resulted in a touchdown – putting his team down 7-0 before the defense even took the field. Callahan was solid the rest of the contest.
He completed an underneath throw to running back Tony Underwood and then connected with wide receiver Peter Udoibok on a deep sideline throw. He showed a strong arm throwing a quick out pattern to Tyson Schilling and again showed his arm strength with a 39-yard touchdown strike to Chris Walsh. Callahan can throw in the pocket and although he is not going to look to run, can move around in the pocket and still complete passes.
On a third and one, Callahan found Rajiv Redd down the sidelines for a thirty-yard gain.
“I don’t have to worry about Danny,” Raiders’ head coach Brooks Bollinger said. “He doesn’t flinch; he doesn’t worry about when he makes mistakes. We knew he was going to keep showing up. We have been down plenty of times. That is the character of this team- keep showing up.”
Callahan’s biggest target – literally and figuratively – is Udoibok. The Minnesota Gophers commit is every bit of the 6’4″ and 200 pounds that the program lists. After the nice catch he made early, he had a pair of moments he would have liked to have taken back. From the five-yard-line Udoibok dropped two straight balls that should have been touchdowns. The first ball hit him right in the hands and the second – while a tougher over the shoulder ball – should have been caught as well.
Udiobok wouldn’t make another mistake the rest of the game. He caught an out route that required good footwork. He grabbed a ball across the middle for a first down, and he caught his first of two touchdown passes by being physical and using his strong hands to haul in his second deep ball of the game. When the chips were down, Udiobok and Callahan came up huge.
In overtime, on fourth and goal from the ten, the Raiders needed a touchdown and at least an extra point to keep the game alive. Callahan rolled to his left and threw a strike to a diving Udiobok for the touchdown right behind the front pylon.
“Peter and Rajiv are both playmakers,” Callahan said. “I saw Peter get a little bit of space and put it in a spot where he could go and get it.”
The Raiders decided to go for two and the win. Callahan rolled to his right this time and found his other top receiver – Rajiv Redd inside the front pylon to secure the victory.
Redd is an excellent complement to his more publicized counterpart. Redd is a smaller, quicker receiver who still gets the job done.
On the ground, Cretin relied on junior running back Underwood. Underwood is not a big back, but he runs like it. The junior started the game off with two tough runs into the middle of the defense. He later had a nice run off tackle behind a seal block from offensive lineman John Greenheck. Underwood showed off his quick feet by making a nice cut to get in and out of an off-tackle hole. On a counter, Underwood used a great block by lineman Ethan Sigler to pick up big yardage.
“Obviously we want to get Tony as many touches as we can,” Bollinger said. “He is electric with the ball in his hands.”
The offensive line had their hands full all night with the front seven of the Eagles, but especially with nose tackle Luke Kubesh. Although the DI prospect had a good night, I give a lot of credit to Raiders’ center Sam Harris. He got beat a few times but hung tough against one of the best players in the state.
“(Kubesh) is a big kid,” Callahan said. “He landed on me a few times. He is a heck of a player, but up front, we handled him well for the most part.”
The Cretin defense handled the Totino offense all night. Cameron Jackson made a tackle from his outside linebacker spot that prevented a first down. Later in the game, Jackson would make another sure tackle – in part because his teammate made a great play.
Defensive back Jaison Moore came up nice in run support and forced the runner back inside to Jackson.
The front seven dominated the game for the Raiders.
“They were prepared for a good offense. They were put in some tough spots by us on offense tonight,” Bollinger said. “There were a few times we put them in tough spots, but they have great leaders over there – Abe Schwinn, Demond Grigsby, Matt Sticha they showed great leadership, the whole defense battled and kept showing up.”
Schwinn and Grigsby combined to stuff a run on a third and short.
From his middle linebacker spot, Schwinn made another tackle for a short loss and then read a middle screen and made an open field tackle for a short gain.
Matteo Marchio read a run to the outside and laid a big hit on the running back, dropping him for a short gain.
The linebackers couldn’t have looked so good without the play of the front three. There may have been others in the defensive line rotation, but Tanner Sterling, Gabe Gustin, Luke Bower and Anthony Dahdah kept the linebackers free to make plays all night.