Wow! What a game! There were plenty of ups and downs throughout a nail-biting and engaging 48 minutes of play between U-High and Catholic High. Case in point, U-High wide receiver/kicker Granville Anderson II was lining up to attempt a game winning field goal with a second left to play. It seemed as if the Catholic High Bears were going to win as Anderson’s field goal attempt was short, but it turned out that the Bears were penalized 15 yards for roughing the kicker.
Granville Anderson II made the most of his second opportunity and nailed the field goal to give the Cubs an exhilarating 31-30 win over the Catholic High Bears as the U-High students rushed the field after the game.
“I was a little nervous obviously. It was a big atmosphere with lots of noise, but like I said earlier, me and Coach Martin work this drill a lot. I made field goals under pressure and I did that tonight.”U-High 2024 WR/K Granville Anderson II
Talking with U-High WR Seth Gale, he foreshadowed Granville’s kick on Thursday during practice.
“In Thursday morning practice, we kick a field goal and we are all crowding around him yelling at him. The first kick, he missed and I told Granville that he wasn’t getting a second shot against Catholic, and he made me eat my words tonight.”U-High 2024 WR Seth Gale
Big special teams plays from senior wide receivers put the Cubs in position to win as Gale had a 28-yard punt return to set the offense in great field position.
“Seth’s such a huge player for us on special teams and on offense. He has so much heart for us. We were surprised they kicked it to him. He got some yards for us and got us close to kick a field goal.”U-High Head Coach Andy Martin
The game had its share of momentum swings and big plays from the start to the finish as seven lead changes occurred during the game.
The U-High Cubs threw the first punch as the offense marched down the field on a 12 play, 80 yard scoring drive that was capped off with a one-yard touchdown run from four-star recruit Keylan Moses to give the Cubs an early 7-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Catholic’s defense helps the Bears get back-to-back scores this time on a 63 yard interception return for a touchdown by Lucas Schramm to give Catholic a 14-7 lead.
For the most part, the second quarter was quiet as the Bears’ pass rush was getting to the Cubs’ talented four-star quarterback, but Emile Picarella threw a last second touchdown pass before halftime to Trushaad Bush, who mossed a Catholic High defender to get a needed score that will give the Cubs some momentum going into halftime.
“He played well. He got sacked a few times and threw an interception, but he kept fighting, kept fighting, and just never lost course of what we were trying to do.”U-High Head Coach Andy Martin on QB Emile Picarella battling through adversity
With the game deadlocked at 14 during halftime, everybody in the stadium knew how huge this second half could be with two evenly matched teams. The energy from all the fans and both teams was transferred to the second half in which Catholic had another long methodical drive that was capped off by a Barry Remo touchdown run giving the Bears back the lead at 21-14.
However, U-High answers right back as Picarella was starting to heat up with a 32 yard touchdown pass to Seth Gale to tie the game once again at 21 a piece.
Catholic has another long drive that lasted 14 plays, 65 yards, but the Cubs defense only held the Bears to a 27 yard field goal from Sean Perret.
The Bears were hanging on to a 24-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter setting up an epic final 15 minutes.
The Cubs got their first lead of the game with five minutes left in the fourth quarter as Picarella threw his third touchdown pass of the night this time to Zay Martin, who caught the pass over the shoulder to put U-High up at 28-24.
As both teams have done throughout the night, Catholic answered the call as Remo scored his second touchdown of the night to give the Bears back the lead at 30-28 with 1:15 left to play, but the extra point hit the upright meaning that the Cubs only needed a field goal to take the lead.
Things seemed bleak for U-High with Picarella throwing his second interception of the game as Sam Norman made a break on the football and gave the Bears the ball back, but the Cubs had all three of their timeouts and forced the Bears to punt.
Then, you all know the rest as Anderson gets the game winning field goal to escape with a 31-30 victory.
“It was a lot of fun. It was heart and effort all night long. They just laid it out on the line and they gave us a chance to win.”U-High Head Coach Andy Martin on the win
This was a nice bounce back win for the Cubs after they fell to Archbishop Rummel last week.
“It was huge. You don’t want to let one loss to affect the next week. Our guys came to practice hungry. It was awesome. It was a great week of practice. We played for one another and battled. That’s what I love the most about this win.”U-High Head Coach Andy Martin on bouncing back after the loss
Leading the charge in his first full start running the offense was Emile Picarella, who finished completing 19 of 33 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns to two interceptions. Picarella found his groove in the second half after throwing a touchdown pass in the first half. That touchdown helped spark the Cubs’ offense.
“We knew that we were in the game. We got in a lot of rhythm going into halftime, and that is a big thing in football. Having rhythm and momentum is the best thing you can have in the game. I trusted in my guys to make some plays. I am super proud of them.”U-High 2025 4 Star QB Emile Picarella
Picarella did spread the football to his four top receivers in Granville Anderson II (7 catches for 86 yards), Zay Martin (5 catches for 49 yards and 1 TD), Trushaad Bush (4 catches for 24 yard and 1 TD), and Seth Gale (3 catches for 98 yards and 1 TD).
Catholic High had good offensive outings from Daniel Beale, who went 17 of 25 for 147 yards and a touchdown, Barry Remo (19 carries for 73 yards and 2 TDs), and Amari Clayton (6 catches for 73 yards and 1 TD), but what came back to bite the Bears in the end including the last second kick was penalties as Catholic suffered a ghastly 16 penalties during the game.
It does not get much easier for head coach Hudson Fuller and the 1-2 Catholic High Bears as they will go on the road to face the 3-0 St. Thomas More Cougars.
Meanwhile, the U-High Cubs improve to 2-1 and will take on Mentorship Academy.
Check out the photos taken by Jace LeJeune during the CHS vs. U-High game.