SAN JOSE – Not so long ago, some people wondered when St. Francis wanted to beat Bellarmine again.
In this historic Western Catholic rivalry in the Athletic League, the Lancers lost 11 games in a row against the bells from 2006-2015, an unfathomable race given the program’s rich football history,
But now some are wondering when Bellarmine will win another game in the series that began 63 years ago.
Friday night, in the final chapter of the Holy War, St. Francis command in the second quarter behind Viliami Teu’s powerful and electrifying run, Joshua Perry’s passing and physical defense.
The Lancers defeated Bellarmine 44-24 before a packed house at San Jose City College to improve to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in WCAL.
Bellarmine dropped to 5-3, 2-3.
St. Francis stretched his winning streak over the bells to six games, the longest in the series. Lancers won five in a row from 1996-99.
“We just believe in ourselves,” St. Francis coach Greg Calcagno. “We believe in ourselves and do what we do.”
What St. Francis did Friday was to take advantage of his superior size in the trenches and disagreements on the edges.
Oh, and they also gave the ball back to their groundbreaking run.
Teu finished with 276 yards and four touchdowns in 21 carries, the sixth game in a row where he topped 100 yards.
The senior scored on runs of 29, 37, 48 and 73 yards.
“Every race back is thinking about scoring,” Teu said. “I try my best. The bar did their job as always. Sometimes I tell them to put my yards under their name. They’re doing a hell of a job. I’m just blessed to have them. ”
Perry threw two touchdown passes, a 15-yard fade to Tim Netane just before halftime that made it 23-7 and a 26-yard pass over the middle to Riley Long that completed the scoring for the Lancers.
The senior threw 177 yards on 8-of-12 passes.
“You saw the size of our line,” Perry said. “Most teams have to fill the field with eight, nine guys, and they just go with the man’s cover on the outside. We have some rivets out there. It’s nice to see them get some looks. ”
Ben Pfaff led Bellarmine with 175 yards and a touchdown in 31 carries. Wade Smith passed for 186 and two TDs and ran for 41 yards.
“They are a very good football team,” Bellarmine coach Jalal Beauchman said. “There is no doubt about it. I do not think anyone who was here today did not think they were a very good football team and it would be hard for us to beat them.
“I think they are manageable. I think if you asked them, they would say so too. If they do not play well and their opponent does, they may lose a football match. That was what we came in here tonight and thought. If we played our best and caught them on a good night, we thought we could win a football game. But that was just not the case tonight. ”
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