Catholic High quarterback Cameron Dartez had big numbers. The senior completed 12 of 15 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns, all of which came in the pivotal third quarter.
The senior also ran for the other two TDs in the first half as the seventh-ranked Bears of Class 5A scored in a 34-21 victory over Parkview Baptist Thursday night at Olympia Stadium.
The numbers were not what mattered most to Catholic coach Gabriel Fertitta after the season-opening game between two local football powers.
“Stats are nice. What Cam gives us with his leadership goes well beyond that. As a second-year starter, he has the experience to get us into whatever we need to be in,” Fertitta said “And if somebody is out of place, he doesn’t panic. He gets them in place and is in control.”
With the Bears (1-0) leading 13-7 at the half and Parkview (0-1), the No. 7 team in Class 4A, getting the ball first in the third quarter, it looked like the game would develop into one like the 2017 game that Catholic won 27-25 on Dartez’s TD pass to Forrest Roy on the final play.
Instead, fortunes changed with Catholic’s passing game and a combination of miscues and misfortune for PBS and its sophomore quarterback Roman Mula in his first varsity start. Mula ran for 68 yards and a TD and also passed for 78 yards, including the Eagles’ final score that made it a 13-point game in the closing minutes.
“No question, there were some things that didn’t go the way we hoped,” Parkview coach Jay Mayet said. “There were some calls we didn’t get and some we did. There were a couple of motion penalties in the second half. The plays were no different than what we did in the first half. He (Mula) is as tough as nails. He didn’t make all the right reads, but he got better this week. We did. Catholic did what you expect them to do. They're consistent in what they do.”
There was the six-minute span in which Dartez finished 6-for-6 with those TD passes. PBS got the ball to open the second-half kickoff. The Eagles' drive sputtered after a motion penalty and a fumbled snap.
It got worse on the ensuing punt when Parkview was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. A PBS player hit the Catholic return man too soon, not allowing enough space to catch the ball. The Bears got the ball at the PBS 42 and on their second play Dartez hitting Roy in stride as he raced for a 40-yard score down one sideline.
“We came out and pounded it with the run and that opened it up for the pass,” Dartez said. “When it opened up, we took our shots. That’s something we do.”
Another motion penalty helped thwart the next Parkview drive. Catholic's quick-strike 66-yard drive ended with running back Braelon Morgan catching a short pass from Dartez, breaking a tackle and racing down the opposite sideline 33 yards to the end zone. A 6-yard punt on Parkview's next possession led to the third TD pass — this one covering 25 yards to Gregory Martin — made it 34-7 with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
“Overall I was pleased,” said Fertitta, who celebrated his 36th birthday with the win. “They hurt us on the outside a few times, but to limit that (option) offense to less than 200 yards is impressive.” Jake Outlaw ran for 70 yards on 12 carries to help Catholic finish with 200 rushing yards.
Parkview’s Mayet was encouraged, despite the loss.
“We are playing a lot of young guys and first-year starters,” Mayet said. “If we keep working and improving every week, we can be good by the time district and the playoffs come around.”