St. Vincent debuted scoreless at home Saturday afternoon, losing to Cloverdale’s Eagles, 35-0, in the first North Central League I game for both.
Despite the score, St. Vincent’s young Mustangs showed promise against a tough league foe, holding the Eagles scoreless for the first quarter and a half, and through the visitors’ first four possessions.
During that stretch, St. Vincent, led by Gio Antonini and Joe Bernikklau, stopped the Eagles on downs at the St. Vincent 5-yard line, and Tyler Cunha intercepted a pass to stop another drive.
Cloverdale led at the half just 14-0, but erupted for three second-half scores within a span of just over two minutes, with the final two coming on Mustang turnovers, the first on a sack and fumble recovery in the end zone and then a 21-yard interception return.
The final quarter was played with a running clock.
After showing a strong passing attack in a win against Portola the week before, the Mustangs had a difficult time moving the ball against Cloverdale.
Quarterback Trent Free was able to complete just 4-of-19 passes for 46 yards against the tough Cloverdale defense. St. Vincent’s offensive cause was hampered by six turnovers.
Antonini continues to be a wrecking crew on defense. He had a career-best 17 tackles against Cloverdale and now has 44 tackles in three games.
Linebacker Brian Giron and A.J. Fetter also had strong games with nine tackles each.
St. Vincent, now 1-2, plays at home again Saturday, hosting Clear Lake in a 2 p.m. game. The Cardinals come to town with a 2-1 record.