The folks around the Xavier Prep football team were certainly disappointed after a 30-21 loss to St. Monica Friday night in Palm Desert. After all, Xavier (2-3) had clawed back from a couple of body blows in the first quarter in the form of 99-, 65- and 70-yard touchdowns by St. Monica. Xavier was tied with the Mariners at 21-21 at halftime and the score stayed there through the third quarter.
But the Saints played a shaky fourth quarter with four turnovers. St. Monica didn’t have to do much to score its nine points in the quarter, recovering fumbles at the Saints’ 20 and 10 yard lines to set up quick scores.
So it was a loss and it was disappointing, but you can also see the core of a pretty good football team in the Saints. At times Friday night they ran their uptempo passing offense very well, putting the Mariners on their heels. And the Xavier defense recovered from two early lapses to shut out the Mariners in the second and third quarters.
This is all important because next year the Saints are heading into the Desert Valley League, where the competition is going to get tougher. Against the likes of La Quinta, Palm Springs and Palm Desert, the Saints will need to be at their best.
This is a year of setting up the program for the coming years in the DVL. The Saints are doing a pretty good job of setting the tone for both their offense and defense for the coming year under first-year head coach Bob Molyet and his staff. Things won’t get easier next year, but the foundation for some long-term success for the Saints seems to be in place already.