Friday Night Lights: St. Ignatius Captures CCS Championship With Win Over Bellarmine


St. Ignatius’s #24 Elijah Dale cuts inside as he heads for the endzone for the game winning touchdown in overtime. St. Ignatius played Bellarmine in the CCS Open Division final at San Jose City College in San Jose, CA Friday November 30th, 2012. Photo: Michael Short, Special To The Chronicle / SF

The St. Ignatius Wildcats defeated the Bellarmine Bells 13-10 in overtime to win the CCS Championship on Friday night. It was a thrilling, tightly-contested game that came down to the wire.

KJ Carta-Samuels put the Bells up first with a two-yard rushing touchdown late in the first quarter. St. Ignatius, stymied by the Bellarmine defense all night, finally was able to even things up midway through the fourth when Elijah Dale pounded it in from a yard out.

With the game tied 7-7, Bellarmine drove down the field in the final minutes, and were in prime position to win the game. However, they chose to go for it on fourth down and goal instead of just kicking a field goal. Kenneth Olugbode was stopped short of the goal line, turning the ball over to St. Ignatius with less than a minute to play in regulation. Instead of risking a turnover deep in its own territory, the Wildcats played it safe and sent the game to overtime.

Grant Bush nailed a 20-yard field goal on the Bells’ opening possession of overtime, but the Wildcats were able to one-up them. On their very first play, Dale took the handoff, turned the corner, and rushed straight into the left corner of the end zone, winning the CCS Championship for St. Ignatius in dramatic fashion.

“Everyone just sealed their guy,” Dale said. “I just ran to the hole. The line and receivers did such a good job I didn’t have to do much. I was so happy I just had to give it a little jump.”

“This was just SI football,” he continued. “We play hard to the finish, four quarters of football. We play every minute, every second.”