By Gideon Rubin
Cathedral Catholic won the San Diego Section Division I championship in dramatic fashion, as Jack Onstott returned an interception 98 yards to lead the Dons to a 37-37 triple overtime victory over San Pasqual in the Dec. 2 title game at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Dons have won state section titles in six of the last seven years.
They’d won their previous five in Division III from 2007 to 2011, but were ineligible for the playoffs last year after forfeiting their eight regular season victories for using an ineligible player.
The school self-reported the infraction, which it said was the result of a clerical error.
Cathedral Catholic defeated Ramona 20-0 in a Nov. 27 semifinal that sent the Dons to the finals.
The Dons broke a scoreless deadlock at the end of the first half, when center Matt Fornaca recovered a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown.
The broke the game open in the second half when Chris Moliga scored on runs from the 6-and 8-yard lines.
The Dons improved their overall record for the season to 11-2.
Torrey Pines standout Tal Braude wore his underdog status as if it were a badge of honor going into the Division I state championships.
He left the meet wearing the ultimate prize.
Braude upset two of the state’s most highly regarded runners to win the state championship at Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 30.
Braude ran the 3.1-mile course at Woodward Park in Fresno in 15 minutes and two seconds, one second ahead of a hard-charging Esteban De La Rosa of Arcadia.
Stockdale of Bakersfield’s Blake Haney, considered along with De La Rosa to be among the favorites, placed third.
Braude, a coveted Division I prospect in track and cross country, said the win was probably one of the most important wins of his career.
And that’s from an athlete whose resume includes winning gold medals in the 1,500-meters and 3 kilometer events at the Maccabiah Games in Israel over the summer (he was also a member of a 4×400 relay team that took home a bronze medal).
“It means a lot to me because people didn’t really notice me after winning at Mount San Antonio,” he said, noting that his racing peers outside of San Diego County openly questioned “was that just a one time thing or is he actually good.”
“This race kind of sealed the deal,” he said.
Braude won a race by what appears to be about 7 feet on video, but which on the clock was much closer.
De La Rosa, last year’s state runner up, was closing on him faster than Braude realized. As Braude crossed the finish line, he wasn’t aware just how close De La Rosa was to catching up.
“He was catching me, and I was slowing down,” Braude said. “He definitely would have had me if the race had been any longer.”
Torrey Pines lost to Mater Dei of Santa Ana 3-1 (20-25, 26-24, 25-14, 25-12) in a Southern California Division I regional semifinal on Nov. 30.
The Falcons advanced to the finals after defeating Harvard-Westlake of Studio City 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-16) in the quarterfinals.
The Falcons conclude their season with a 33-4 overall record.