Sacred Heart Prep defends its CCS Division IV football title

With senior running back Andrew Segre running for a school-record 351 yards on 28 carries and scoring six touchdowns, top-seeded Sacred Heart Prep successfully defended its Central Coast Section Division IV title with a 56-21 blasting of No. 7 Pacific Grove on Saturday night at Independence High in San Jose.

The victory put SHP in position to receive berth on Sunday in the 2013 CIF State Regional Football Championship Games. The Gators will face El Cerrito (12-2) in the Division III regional this Saturday at De Anza High in Richmond at 7:30 p.m.

The winner will face the winner of Nordhoff (13-1) vs. Corona del Mar (14-0) in the state finals on Saturday, Dec. 21 at the StubHub Center on the campus of Cal State University, Dominguez Hills at noon.

"We thought we had a pretty good team this year," said SHP coach Pete Lavorato. "I thought our body of work was pretty good. It's great for the school and great for the kids, they've worked hard for this."

SHP will face an El Cerrito team that has won 10 straight. One of El Cerrito's losses came against Bellarmine, 28-25, at De Anza High in September.

Meanwhile, Sacred Heart Prep's 56 points on Saturday night were the second-most ever scored in a CCS title game, tying Carmel's total from its 56-35 win over Menlo in 2009. The section record is 69 points by Valley Christian in a blanking of Pacific Grove in 2003. All the high-scoring games have come in Division IV finals.

The Gators (12-1), meanwhile, equaled the school record for most single-season victories, established last season, while winning their third section crown in the past four years and improving their postseason win streak to six.

Equally impressive, SHP is 62-13-1 with three CCS titles and four title-game appearances since joining the section in 2008. During that same time, perennial CCS power Bellarmine is 63-12-1 with three titles and four appearances in the finals.

Segre made it all happen with his career-best game. He had 268 rushing yards on 18 carries and four touchdowns in the first half alone as the Gators rolled to a 28-14 lead.

Segre first scored on a 57-yard run, followed that with a 49-yard TD jaunt, made it a 21-0 game with a 15-yard scoring run and put SHP on top by 28-7 with a 17-yard TD.

Junior linebacker/running back Ben Burr-Kirven made it 35-14 in the second half with a 24-yard scoring run. At that point, the Gators had rushed for 337 yards and not attempted a single pass.

After Pacific Grove (11-2) got on the board, Segre tallied his fifth TD on a 10-yard run for a 49-21 lead. Teammate Anthony Robinson later picked off Pacific Grove's Luke Lowell and returned it 57 yards for another score and a 49-21 lead.

Appropriately enough, Segre wrapped things up with a 32-yard scoring run in the final minutes.

Sacred Heart Prep's vaunted defense, which allowed just 40 points in three CCS playoff games, finished the season allowing an average of just 8.9 points a game.

Segre's effort, meanwhile, broke the school's single-game rushing mark of 321 yards by Matt Walter in 2009 and tied Walter's record of six touchdowns during a 48-23 nonleague win over Valley Christian-Dublin.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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