Irish Blank Shamrocks to Win Football Season Opener
Class 5A top-ranked Indianapolis Cathedral kicked off the 2021 high school football season Friday night with a 14-0 victory at Class 6A second-rated Westfield. The Fighting Irish defense intercepted four passes in the second half and held the Shamrocks to just 37 yards rushing for the game in route to its first shutout of an opponent since 2019.
After a scoreless first half, Cathedral’s Bryce Llewellyn intercepted Westfield quarterback Maximus Webster on the second play of the third quarter to give the Irish the ball at the Rocks’ 37-yard line. Seven plays later, Michael Page took a shuffle pass from Danny O’Neil around the left end for a 1-yard touchdown reception, giving the Irish a 7-0 lead following Ben Gomez’ successful point-after kick.
Llewellyn’s second interception stopped the next Westfield drive at the Cathedral 6-yard line. The Shamrocks’ moved the ball to the Cathedral 19-yard line on their next possession before Anthony Kwiatkowski intercepted a pass to stop the drive and set up the second Irish score.
On third and four at his own 23-yard line, O’Neil scrambled to the left and lofted a pass down the home sideline into the outstretched arms of Jaron Tibbs, who then broke multiple tackles before being tripped up after a 71-yard gain. O’Neil ran around the left end for a 6-yard score on the next play.
Westfield threatened to answer on its next possession, advancing to Cathedral’s 4-yard line to set up a first and goal scenario early in the final quarter. Four plays later, Kyle Coleman stopped Rocks’ quarterback Cole Ballard at the 3-yard line to preserve the shutout. In all, the Irish held the Shamrocks scoreless on three trips inside the Cathedral 20-yard line.
Sophomore quarterback O’Neil completed 22 of 33 passes, to seven different receivers, for 261 yards in his varsity debut. Tibbs caught six passes for 109 yards. The Irish defense held Westfield to just 174 yards of total offense and recorded four sacks of two Shamrock quarterbacks.
Cathedral is now 6-0 all-time against Westfield. The Fighting Irish travel to Brownsburg next Friday. The Bulldogs defeated Ben Davis, 33-22, at Lucas Oil Stadium to open the season. Cathedral is 4-1 all-time against Brownsburg, but the Bulldogs won the last meeting in 2018 by a 37-26 score.