The Bishop's School Knights can measure their perfect season by last Friday's 40-14 victory over Stockton Brookside Christian in the Division IV State Football Championship Bowl game amid a steady rain at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
The Knights became just the third San Diego Section school to post an undefeated 14-0 season and the fourth team from the section to win a state bowl game.
Befitting the team’s make-up, South County players figured in the win. Junior quarterback Joey Moreno, who hails from Chula Vista, threw one touchdown pass while completing six of 11 passing attempts for 95 yards in rather difficult weather conditions. He also rushed five times for 31 yards.
The game’s shining star was reserved for senior Alec Fisher, who tied a state bowl record with five touchdowns, including four rushing scores.
Fisher rushed for 167 yards (fourth most in bowl game history) on 23 carries. He scored on runs of three, one, seven and eight yards. Moreno passed five yards to Fisher to give Bishop’s a 20-6 halftime lead.
The Knights bruised their opponent for 300 rushing yards in the contest, with Moreno handing the ball off to five different running backs. Austin Fisher, Alec’s twin brother, rushed 12 times for 44 yards while Robby Stiefler had five carries for 35 yards, Micah Seau had four carries for 27 yards and Dominique Love had one carry for minus-four yards.
Bishop’s scored the only two touchdowns of the first quarter to lead 13-0. Fisher capped a 71-yard scoring drive with a three-yard run and, just 39 seconds later, Stiefler returned an intercepted pass 39 yards for a touchdown. Stiefler helped set up his team’s first score with a pick on the fourth play of the game.
Brookside Christian (12-1) closed the gap to 13-6 on a 12-yard scoring pass from Tony Rodriguez to Larry Fullard to finish a 92-yard field march. But the Knights regained their two touchdown advantage on Moreno’s short pass to Fisher with just 22 seconds left before halftime. Kyle Gantz booted the extra point to put Bishop’s ahead by 14 points.
Brookside Christian scored the only touchdown of the third quarter to pull within 21-14 and the game appeared to be in doubt. Rodriguez, who attempted 31 passes in the inclement weather, completing 15 of them for 184 yards, hit Fullard on a 16-yard scoring pass with 7:39 left in the quarter, and Rodriguez then hit Fullard on a successful two-point conversion play.
But the remainder of the game belonged to the section’s reigning Division V champions. Fisher scored on three short runs to cement the lead as the Knights closed the game with 20 unanswered points.
Because of the slick conditions, neither team punted the ball.
Moreno completed passes to three receivers during the game. Love caught two spirals for 43 yards while Alec Fisher had three catches for 33 yards and Adam Malkiewicz caught one pass for 19 yards. Moreno also was intercepted once.
Alec Fisher was everywhere on the field to cap a monster performance, leading Bishop’s with 11 tackles. Austin Fisher had seven stops while Love made six tackles.
Moreno entered the game having passed for 1,976 yards and 17 touchdowns while Alec Fisher had rushed for 1,599 yards and 25 TDs. Austin Fisher had rushed for 1,223 yards and 15 touchdowns while Malkiewicz had caught 42 passes for 899 yards and seven scores.
Defensively, the Knights had five players earn All-Coastal League honors this season, led by Seau, the nephew of NFL great Junior Seau, Austin Fisher (doubling at outside linebacker), Love (a junior defensive back), Gantz (a senior defensive lineman), Stiefler (a senior defensive back) and Chula Vista’s Kohl Simonds (a junior linebacker).
Seau entered the state bowl game with 122 tackles on the year while Fisher had 113 stops and Simonds, who has to rank as one of the more inspirational players on the gridiron, had 53 tackles despite standing only 5-foot-4. Gantz had 43 tackles and six sacks.
Alec Fisher was named the Coastal League’s Offensive Player of the Year.
San Diego Section
State Football Bowl Champions
2007: Oceanside Pirates (12-1)
2008: Cathedral Catholic (14-0)
2009: Oceanside Pirates (14-0)
2010: Bishop’s Knights (14-0)
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
Thursday, Dec. 30/Qualcomm Stadium
Nebraska (10-3) vs. Washington (6-6), 7 p.m.