By Brandon Judeh
You could see the disappointment on the faces of the fans and players after Ursuline’s 37–8 loss to Pennsylvania’s Erie Cathedral Prep on Friday night.
The Irish (2-3) fell victim to another powerhouse as they continue to grind through their brutal schedule. This time to a team that is the defending AAA state champions.
“Right now we have to get a lot better at what we are doing,” said Ursuline head coach Larry Kempe. “Granted, we had nine underclassman playing both sides of the ball in the second half, but we still need to improve,”
Cathedral Prep’s passing game was a sight to see at Stambaugh Stadium as senior quarterback Billy Fessler lit up the scoreboard.
Fessler threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns, including two that went for more than 70 yards.
Fessler also added a rushing touchdown.
“I’m sure right now that when we go back and watch the film on this game we are going to see plenty of missed tackles,” Kempe said. “This has been an issue with us all year. We are missing way too many easy tackles.”
Irish nation held their collective breath late in the third quarter when quarterback — and Michigan State recruit — Chris Durkin went down with a foot injury and did not return.
When asked if his foot is OK, he calmly replied, “I’ll be all right.”
“I’m more concerned about our offense,” Kempe said. “We really need to work on our consistency. We looked great up front in the first half, but we came out of the locker room a little sluggish.”
Ursuline got off to a good start as a big sack by freshman defensive lineman Jeff Marx killed a Ramblers drive deep in Irish territory.
Ursuline marched down the field and get on the scoreboard first as a Damon Green 44 yard run set up a 2-yard Durkin touchdown run to put Ursuline up 8-0 early.
The Irish had trouble getting anything going on offense as the Ramblers (5-0) held Ursuline to 136 total yards of offense.
“What we have to do is get better,” Kempe said. “We have an opportunity to win four more games, but to do that we need to improve.
“I’m proud of these young men’s effort though, they never stop fighting.”
It’s going to be another long week of practice for the Irish as they are coming off of their second straight blowout loss and have been outscored 66–11 in those two games, something Durkin and company are looking to work on.
“We play a tough schedule,” Durkin said. “No one else in Division V has a schedule like ours. Whether we win or lose we always look to correct are mistakes before the next week’s game.”
Cathedral Prep’s Jake DeHart rushed for 96 yards and wide receiver DeAngelo Malone hauled in three catches for 117 yards, including and a 70-yard touchdown. ShaQuon Thrower caught a 79-yard touchdown pass.
Ursuline sophomore Anthony Protopapa had an interception. Green finished with 63 yards on the ground.