ARLINGTON, Texas - It seemed to be a setup game for Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), the only California team at the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series on Monday.
The No. 5 Knights were the highest ranked team in the four-game event, which drew just more than 40,000 fans.
They played the last game, which started at 9 p.m. local time, and it was the first time in school history the team played in Texas.
It was also their first game of the season against a very sound squad from Texas, Klein Oak out of the Houston area, a team which already had a game under its belt.
The most visible distraction and/or obstacle was probably the venue, the extraordinarily vast and posh confines of the new $2-billion Cowboys Stadium.
All signs pointed to a setback of some sort, an off day, if not even an upset loss.
No such luck. The Knights rolled to a fairly flawless 37-7 victory.
“Coach (Kevin Rooney) always says all the rankings and all the sideline stuff don’t mean a thing when the ball kicks off,” said senior 5-foot-7, 170-pound running and defensive back Kenneth Boggs, who led the way with 76 yards rushing and three touchdowns. “I think we were just ready to get going.”
It helped to have the reigning Gatorade State Player of the Year in senior quarterback Ryan Kasdorf, who did it all.
As expected, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder threw a high percentage, completing 17 of 26 for 257 yards and two touchdowns.
One of those completes was to of all people, himself, on a 71-yard touchdown pass and lateral midway through the second quarter that put Notre Dame in complete command.
Actually a forward pass behind the line of scrimmage went to Tyler Thomas who then fired an overhand lateral back to Kasdorf who followed a wall of blockers down the left sideline to paydirt.
The official scoring play reads as Kasdorf to Kasdorf, a true first. It broke a 7-7 tie and gave the Knights the lead for good.
“When the play was called, I was a little nervous,” Kasdorf said. “We practiced it all week and had a lot of success at it. I just didn’t want to get caught before. Not like last year when I got caught at the 2.”
No such problems on Monday, when Kasdorf finished 17 of 26 for 252 yards and two touchdowns.
“Never,” said 16-year Klein Oak head coach David Smith, when asked if that play had ever been called against him. “It was a good call. He (Rooney) knew we were aggressive and they went after it.
“They were the better team and their tricks worked for them.”
Kasdorf, a 4.0 student who curiously has no Division I offers yet, completed 10 of his passes for 108 yards and a touchdown to Thomas.
The fast and sure-tackled Knights limited Klein Oak to just 82 yards rushing on 23 attempts.
“We can’t win if we don’t run the ball effectively,” Smith said.
Said Rooney: “I was really pleased with We did a great job of defending the run. Overall, coming here and playing as well as we did was very satisfying. It was a great experience, but we weren’t over-awed by the whole thing.”
Notre Dame 37, Klein Oak 7
Notre Dame 7 7 13 10 - 37
Klein Oak 0 7 0 0 - 7
ND – Kenneth Boggs 9 run (Eric Solis kick), 1:01
KO – Tory Waites 26 pass from Andy Wilson (Keaton Shuddert kick), 7:05
ND – Ryan Kasdorf 71 pass from Kasdorf (Eric Solis kick), 6:21
ND – Boggs 13 run (Solis kick), 8:47
ND – Boggs 1 run (kick failed), 3:12
ND – Tyler Thomas 24 pass from Kasdorf (Solis kick), 7:06
ND – FG, Solis 39, 2:45
First downs: Notre Dame 21, Klein Oak 14
Rushes-yards: ND 33-133, KO 23-82
Passing: ND 17-26-0-257, KO 17-32-0-182
Turnovers: ND 1, Klein Oak 0
Penalties: ND 5-55, Klein Oak 7-72
Possession time: ND 23:52, KO 24:08.
RUSHING: ND – Boggs 13-76, Smith 9-9-40, Kasdorf 8-23; KO – Andy Wilson 12-52, Walt Williams 5-16, Lemond Ford 1-14.
PASSING: ND – Kasdorf 17-25-0. KO – Andy Wilson 14-28-134.
RECEIVING: ND – Tyler Thomas 10-108, Patrick Dayso 4-49, Kimati 2-10; KO – Tori Waites 5-73, Max Stevenson 4-25, Michael Star 3-26.
TACKLES: ND – Wayne Swinson 9, Andrew Kimble 5, Jack McCabe 5. KO – Nicky Barrett 6-5, Edward Germany 6.0, Cory Abrom 4.0.
Colleyville Heritage 28, Irving MacArthur 6
Playing at the new Cowboys Stadium was thrilling enough for Colleyville Heritage Panthers senior defensive lineman John Miles.
But then returning a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown propelling his team to a victory over the Irving MacArthur Cardinals was, well, surreal.
“This was like a dream playing here,” Miles said. “It was even better scoring my first touchdown.” Miles’ score was the first of the game, with 10 minutes, 53 seconds left in the second quarter. It was fitting considering the game was largely dominated by the defenses.
Heritage allowed just 231 yards, including 80 yards rushing on 32 carries. Kansas-bound MacArthur tailback James Sims, who rushed for 1,149 yards and 15 TDs last year, was held out of the end zone and 89 yards on 17 carries.
The Panthers, coming off an impressive 52-20 win over Midland Lee, finally got its offense rolling in the second half on a pair of touchdown passes from Jeff Calvert (18 of 32, 203 yards) and a 2-yard TD run by Landon Sherman.
The defense, led by 11.5 tackles from defensive back Cody Love (6-1, 165), was the star.
“The defense gave us an outstanding effort,” Heritage coach Mike Fuller. “It was a weird week preparing for a Monday after a big win over Midland. The offense sputtered, but we made some adjustments and didn’t panic.”
Fuller said MacArthur was bigger, more physical and aggressive than Lee.
But the Cardinals fumbled six times, losing four, and they didn’t get into the end zone until Heritage had a 28-0 lead.
Johnny Haynes scored on a 46-yard pass from Shahzeb Khan with 2:24 remaining giving MacArthur its only points.
“It was just a gritty game,” Calvert said. “The defense carried us most of the time. We came out at halftime fired up and that seemed to get the offense going. MacArthur was well prepared and really had some great athletes.”
Calvert completed touchdown passes of 7 and 1 yard to Jake McKelvey and Bailey Crego.
Jake Skinner, one of eight returning starters on a team that went 9-2 last year, didn’t get in the end zone but had four catches for 83 yards including a 63-yarder that set up a touchdown.
It was the second straight win for the Panthers, who defeated Clovis East (Calif.) 41-26 in the Herbstreit Varsity Series in 2008.
Heritage 28, MacArthur 6
Heritage 0 7 7 14 - 28
McArthur 0 0 0 6 - 6
H – Miles 20 fumble recovery (Kevin Von Storc kick), 10:53
H – Jake McKelvey 7 pass from Jeff Calvert (Von Storc kick), 7:25
H – Landon Sherman 2 run (Von Storc kick), 10:11
H – Bailey Crego 1 pass from Calvert (Von Storc kick), 6:16
M – Johnny Haynes 46 pass from Shahzeb Khan (kick failed), 2:24
First downs: M 12, H 13
Rushes-yards: M 32-80, Heritage 33-64
Passing:M 11-21-0-231, Heritage 18-33-0-203.
Total yards: I 231, H 267
Turnovers: M 4, H 0
Penalities: M 8-55, H 5-30.
MacCarther: Sims – 17-89, Haynes 2-0, Jason Frimpong 12-0. Heritage: Bailey Crego 12-47, Landon Sherman 8-18, Jimmy Isbell 1-4.
MacArthur: Frimpong 8-18-0-73, Khan 3-3-73. Heritage: Jeff Calvert 18-32-0-203, Isbell 0-1-0-0.
MacArthur: Johnny Haynes 6-109, James Sims 2-15, Tevin Thompson 1-13. Heritage: Kyle Millan 5-52, Jake Skinner 4-83, Josh Meador 3-29.
MacArthur: Anthony Ragan 6.5, Daniel Vinson 5.5, K. Marshall 5.5. Heritage: Cody Love 11, T. Dennington 4.5, Burroughs 3.5.
Mansfield Timberview 30, Mansfield Summit 19
Mansfield Timberview coach Mark Walker said he would have been happy to play Mansfield Summit in a cow pasture.
And that was before his team’s first-ever victory over the Jaguars.
So, you can imagine the coach’s glee when Timberview pulled off a 30-19 triumph at the world’s most talked-about sports facility, the new Cowboys Stadium.
“It feels great to be 2-0,” said the first-year head coach.
The Wolves pulled this one off the old team way – with contributions from numerous sources.
They got touchdown runs by standout tailback Blake Dixon and backup quarterback Charles Taylor.
They got a 5-yard touchdown pass from Terrance Davis to leading receiver Chuck Tann (7 catches, 58 yards).
And they got nine points from its defense, a 6-yard interception return by Xavier Bradley and a safety.
The finishing touches were fitting, a 34-yard run by Taylor with 19 seconds to play after Davis got hurt in the third quarter.
“I’ve been playing quarterback since junior high, so I felt natural to go in when Terrance was hurt,” Taylor said. “The blocking just opened things up and I found a seam. … It’s great to get into the end zone for the first time this year.”
Summit received a pair of remarkable plays from quarterback Xavier Williams, who opened the scoring with a 77-yard pass to John Ellis and finished his team’s scoring with an 11-yard TD pass to Dayquil Bass.
In between, he pulled off the play of the game, scrambling out of his own end zone, tip-toeing down the sideline and rambling 95 yards for a touchdown. That came just moments he threw the ball right into the hands of Bradley on an interception return.
For the game, which featured 26 penalties for 240 yards, Williams finished with 100 yards rushing (11 carries) and 158 yards passing.
In the end, however, Timberview just made more big plays.
Luckily, it was far from a cow pasture.
“We were glad to be playing at Cowboys Stadium; it's awesome,” Taylor said. “Getting a win here was even better.”
Timberview 30, Summit 19
Summit 0 7 6 6 - 19
Timberview 0 7 16 7 - 30
S – John Ellis 77 pass from Xavier Williams (Cesar Munoz kick), 5:26
T – Blake Dixon 2 run (Bobby Crook kick), 1:16
T – Chuck Tann 5 pass from Terrance Davis (kick failed), 10:00
T – Xavier Bradley 6 interception return (Tann pass from Davis), 9:17
S – Williams 95 run (kick failed), 7:26
T – Safety, 4:01
S – Darquin Bass 11 pass from Williams (run failed), 7:35
T – Charles Taylor 34 run (Crook kick), 0:19
First downs: Summit 11, Timberview 16
Rushes-yards: S 25-146, T 36-170
Passing: S 9-22-1-158, T 15-24-1-118
Turnovers: S 1, T 1
Penalties: S11-102, T 15-138
RUSHING: Summit – Xavier Williams 11-100, N. Akinwande 12-48, Jimmy Nguyen 1-4. Timberview – Blake Dixon 18-66, Terrance Davis 13-60, Charles Taylor 2 38.
PASSING: Summit – Williams 9-22-1-158. Timberview – Davis 12-21-1-96, Taylor 3-3-0-22.
RUSHING: Summit – John Ellis 3-100, Akinwande 2-29, Washington 2-9. Timberview – Tann 7-58, Chaz Sampson 2-29, Francisco Mejia 2-16.
TACKLES: Summit – Devin Benton 6, Gabriel Pacheco 6, Brandon Allen 5.5. Timberview – Davonte Walls 3.5, A.J. Rackstraw 3.5, Spearman 3.0.