Sacred Heart Cathedral, St. Ignatius off to quick starts 

Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Ignatius have opened the prep football season on a mission, as the two schools are both 2-0 heading into their final nonleague game.

The Irish have rode the legs of junior Jamar Williams-Sheppard. He has rushed for 348 yards and five touchdowns in the early going, averaging 9.2 yards a carry in victories over Novato and Galileo. Senior quarterback Logan White has been efficient, completing 14 of his 23 passes for 269 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Junior Jay Na has added 97 yards rushing on 14 attempts, but more importantly, the Irish defense — which gave up 37 points a game in West Catholic Athletic League play a season ago — has given up only 20 points in their two wins going into their game tonight against Saratoga (1-1).

As for their Sunset rival, St. Iganatius, the Wildcats have certainly played stiffer competition in their two games, and they have held up well. SI rallied from a 14-0 deficit and snapped Marin Catholic’s 23-game home winning streak with a 21-14 victory over the Marin County power. SI followed that big win up by hanging on for a 27-24 victory over defending Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division champion Terra Nova.

SI’s schedule, which may be one of the toughest in Northern California, doesn’t lighten up this week as they host St. Mary’s of Stockton (2-0) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Struggles in the AAA: The nonleague season for Academic Athletic Association football teams has not gotten off to a hot start, as the league has combined to go 3-12. Balboa, Galileo and Lincoln are the only teams to get in the win column, as seven of the 15 games have been routs.

Despite the poor record, their have been plenty of bright spots. The brightest of them has been the play of Lincoln sophomore running back Akeal Lalaind, who in two games has already rushed for 335 yards and three touchdowns, averaging over 10 yards a carry.

Battle in the BCL: Lick-Wilmerding and University have combined for one loss on the boys’ soccer season. University (7-0-2) so far has a goal differential of plus-17 (20-3), as the Red Devils have been led be senior Adam Dolinsky (five goals, one assist), and juniors Maddie Mrlik (three goals, six assists) and Freddie Yao (six goals, one assist).

Lick-Wilmerding (7-1) suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday to Marin Academy (2-0), but the Tigers have otherwise been good. The Tigers have displayed a balanced attack led by senior Moss Brenner-Bryant (three goals, seven assists) and junior Marcus Simmons (six goals, four assists). They’ve outscored their opponents 27-5.

Both teams are ranked in the top-three in the North Coast Section Division II rankings, with Lick-Wilmerding ranked No. 1 and University No. 3. These teams will meet for the first of two scheduled Bay Counties League West games Tuesday at City College of San Francisco.

Headed to the Hilltop: Sacred Heart Cathedral senior volleyball player Madison Murtagh is headed to USF as she gave a verbal commitment Thursday morning. The 6-foot-1 senior has helped the Irish open the season on fire. SHC has won 13 of 14 matches, and during the nine-game winning streak, it has won every set.

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