No. 3 Catholic jumped ahead 14-0 and held off a Woodlawn passing onslaught to take a 34-27 victory at Memorial Stadium in a District 5-5A game Friday.
Bears running back George Hart rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries and freshman quarterback Daniel Beale threw for 223 yards and one score. But the Catholic needed an onside kick recovery by Jack Wall with 1:06 remaining to finally put the game away.
Corey Singleton added 90 yards rushing on 10 carries and Tre Nicholas had a 30-yard scoring run for the Bears (6-3, 3-0) who move on to a possible bye in the first round of the playoff which begin next week.
Woodlawn quarterback Rickie Collins completed 31 of 47 passes for 453 yards and four touchdowns. Collins rallied his team within a touchdown of the lead with TD throws of 43 yards to Kyle Jones and 42 to Lanard Harris in the fourth quarter.
Jones caught 10 passes for 147 yards and two scores, and Clayton Adams caught seven balls for 118 yards and another TD. Amani Givens rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries for the Panthers (2-2, 1-1).
How it was won
Even though Catholic allowed 578 yards, it made enough stops in the first half to allow the Bears to hang onto the lead, 21-7 at the break. Joshua May stopped a first quarter drive with an interception to set up a 35-yard TD pass from Beale to Daniel Harden.
Jackson Demouy intercepted a third quarter pass to stop another drive and the Bears stopped two other drives at their 23 and 13-yard lines.
Catholic was minus eight starters, including starting quarterback Landon O’Connor, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the Bears victory against Acadiana. Beale completed 17 of 26 passes in his first career start.
Player of the Game
George Hart, Catholic running back
Hart scored the game’s first TD on a 14-yard run in the first quarter and added second half TDs of 8 and 19 yards. His tough running helped the Bears milk the clock in the second half.
They said it
Catholic coach Gabe Fertitta: “That’s a heck of a football team. Between him (Collins) and the kid at St. Thomas More, those are the two best quarterbacks we’ve faced in a long time. We’re out of emotional energy. Rescheduled games, late games, one day of practice before playing Ruston. We’re pretty sure we’ve earned a bye. We need to get healthy.”
Woodlawn coach Marcus Randall: “We’re trying to get back to where we thought we were two weeks ago. Our timing was off early in the game. We had a chance to score right before the half and it could have been a different game if we go in down 21-14. Rickie got back into the flow of it with a good supporting cast. He got his rhythm late and hopefully that carries over to the playoffs.”