Turns out, there was nothing to fret about after all for Big Red.
Beau Bisharat made sure of that in the Holy Bowl on Saturday night, whisking away any nerves by blowing past defenders in delivering one of the most electrifying efforts in the storied history of the Jesuit-Christian Brothers football rivalry that dates back to 1969.
And to think Bisharat earlier this week said the mere idea of Jesuit losing to its chief rival can be a bit "scary."
He was scary alright.
Running hard and with purpose and displaying breakaway ability that belies his powerful 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame, Bisharat scored on three first-half touchdowns, adding a fourth to cap the scoring, and the Marauders showcased running back depth while also dominating on defense to key a 51-9 rout of the Falcons at Hughes Stadium.
A crowd of some 12,000 took notice of Bisharat's runs, the sea of Jesuit rooting section decked in red soaking it in, high-fiving, chanting and jumping, while the blue-clad sea of CBS backers were left a bit speechless. Bisharat scored on runs of 78, 71 and 21 yards in piling up 219 yards at the half on seven carries. The Stanford-bound senior finished with a Holy Bowl record 315 yards on 16 carries as he continued his Holy Bowl fun as one righteous runner.
A year ago, Bisharat had three touchdowns in a 48-21 Marauders victory.
Jesuit leads the all-time series 29-14-2 as it warms up for it expects a run at a Delta League championship and perhaps more, such as a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I crown. The Delta won't be easy, certainly, not with returning champion Grant looming. Grant beat Jesuit for the Delta title last season in Carmichael. For now, Jesuit will celebrate this Holy Bowl rout, picking up steam as the offensive line continues to round into form, as well as the defense, which played big last week in a 40-0 rout of Yuba City.
Dalvin Jamal-Milton scored on runs of 10, 12 and 62 yards in the second half for Jesuit (2-1), which recorded four sacks in bottling up a prolific CBS offense that produced a 2-0 start to the season.
Jamarri Jackson provided the lone CBS highlight with an 80-yard touchdown to make it 44-9 at the end of the third quarter.
"We don't want to have that feeling of losing the Holy Bowl," Bisharat said. "It's definitely a special games. Friends, family, everyone comes. It's a big tradition and we want to carry it on."
Christian Brothers coach Dan Carmazzi praised Jesuit coming in, particularly Bisharat. Carmazzi was a first-year assistant coach at Jesuit in 1977 when Jesuit's leading rusher was Charlie Bisharat, father of Beau. Carmazzi coached Jesuit for 30 years and is in his third season at CBS, his alma mater.
"Beau," Carmazzi said before the game, "is really good."
* Grant 21, Bullard 14 in Del Paso Heights - Trailing 14-0 at the half, the No. 2 Pacers roared back to toppled the No. 2-ranked team by The Fresno Bee.
Deshawn Collins scored on a long run to tie it 14-14, and Mike Cook scored on a quarterback keeper with just under four minutes remaining for Grant (3-0). The winner came off a Pacers fumble recovery in Bullard territory as Grant forced three second-half turnovers.
State-ranked ninth by Cal-Hi Sports, the Pacers were scheduled to play in Fresno on Friday, but smoke and falling ash from the Butte fire forced the Fresno Unified School District to cancel games. Bullard coaches wanted to play this game so badly, to give their players a practice reward and to gauge themselves in what it expects to be a championship season, that they eagerly agreed to travel to Del Paso Heights.
Bullard showed plenty in the first half and Grant a bit more in the second. The teams could meet again in the revised NorCal playoffs as the Central Section that includes Bullard will be merged with the North teams after competing in SoCal regional championship events for years.
"They're as good as advertised," said Grant defensive coordinator Carl Reed, also the school's athletic director who scrambled to make sure Grant could host the contest. "It was a tale of two halves. They came out better than us, and then we woke up. Great game."