Football » Past Season Highlights & Results

Past Season Highlights & Results

Football (2021)

Panthers Upended by Justin Siena in NCS Playoffs
November 12th, 2021
Napa, CA - For the 2nd time this season, the Saint Mary's football team traveled to Napa to play the Justin Siena Braves... and for the 2nd time they came up short. The first game was played in early September, with the Braves winning decisively, 34-0.  This time around, playing in the first round of the NCS Playoffs, the game was much closer.  After a 21 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Finn Hartney to junior wideout Paul Wilson, the Panthers pulled to within a touchdown of tying the game midway through the 3rd quarter.  However, after a Braves field goal and some untimely mistakes by the Panther offense, the Braves scored a late touchdown to pull away and secure the victory. Congratulations to all of the Panthers coaches and both Panthers JV and Varsity teams for a hard fought, resilient season!
Gritty Panthers Come Back To Beat Richmond, 31-30
November 5th, 2021
Richmond, CA - Playing it what may very well be there final game of the 2021 season, the Saint Mary's Football team overcame a 6 point halftime deficit to pull off a thrilling 31-30 road win against Richmond. 
"I'm proud of our guys and the way they hung in there tonight and the entire season," said head coach Jahvid Best after the win. "We've been through a lot together this season.  We've certainly had our share of ups and downs.  But through it all, our coaches and players have supported each other and continued to practice and play hard.  As a coach, that is first and foremost what I wanted from them and they delivered.  This win is a testament to their work and dedication."

Junior Mike Lewis II (#50)

Down 14-8 at halftime, the Panthers came roaring back, bolstered by two rushing touchdowns by senior Julian Womack and an interception return for a touchdown from junior Kyle Goree. 
Still, after a game tying touchdown in the 4th quarter, the Panthers still needed the extra point to secure the victory.  Although extra points have been a bit of a struggle this season, junior Jeremy Gonzalez calmly stepped up and made the game winner.  A perfect ending that captures the growth and perseverance of this 2021 squad.  Congratulations Panthers!

Panthers Up, Then Down Against Hercules!

by Noah Zirkle & Tristan Huerta

October 23rd, 2021

Despite a playing a dominant first half on both sides of the ball, the Panther football team suffered a heartbreaking 20-12 loss to the Hercules Titans in their homecoming game on Saturday at Brady Park. In the first half, the Panther defense shutout the Titan offense and was seemingly in complete control. A first half touchdown run from junior Kyle Goree put the home team up 6-0 going into the locker room as things looked positive.

Samahdi Scott Runs Through The Defense

Sadly, defensive miscues and what appeared to be a tired offense doomed the Panthers in the second half as the Titans rallied back to score 3 times to secure the win.

The Panthers will be back in action again next Saturday, October 30th agaisnt the Jesse Bethel Jaguars. Game time is 1:30. It will be Senior Day at Brady Park so come and support our five seniors in their last home game as Panthers!

Player Profile: James LemMon

by Ryan Painter




This week, I caught up with James LemMon, senior co-captain of the Saint Mary’s Varsity Football team. He is an offensive lineman who has played football all of his four years at Saint Mary’s.  We talked about his thoughts on the season and his connection to Saint Mary’s and football.


Q: How did you get into your sport?  

A: Football has always been part of my family. My father and brothers have played before me. I have been playing for six years now, carrying on the family tradition and have fallen in love with the game.


Q: What do you like best about football at Saint Mary’s?

A: My favorite part of playing at Saint Mary’s is the comradery and motivation of the team. There is a strong, hard working culture where everyone gives it their all and supports each other. This unified environment keeps everyone on their feet and eager to improve.


Q: What has been the highlight or most memorable moment of your Saint Mary’s athletic career thus far?

A: The highlight of my Saint Mary’s athletic career so far was this year's scrimmage against Tamalpais High School. My brother (Mathew LemMon) is the head coach of Tam High Football, so being able to compete against the team he built was really fun.jl


Q: Many athletes are superstitious or very committed to pregame rituals or routines?  Do you have any?

A: I don’t have a complex pregame routine, but I always do a handshake with my teammate Arnav Thapa. This handshake puts us in the right mindset for game time and gets us ready to compete. 


Q: What advice would you give to a new player/teammate?

A: The most valuable advice I could give to a new player or teammate is to persevere through the difficulty. Every player and team will go through challenging practices, games, and even seasons, but being able to keep working and stay positive will only make you stronger. Facing setbacks gives you an even greater desire to win and compete.


Q: Any hopes or goals that you have for yourself and for your team this season?

A: My goal for the team this season is to win finish the season strong, on a high note.  I also want to continue to improve my own ability and cultivate a stronger football culture at Saint Mary’s.

Turnovers Doom Panthers In Loss to Vallejo
by Sydney Scott
October 15th, 2021
Vallejo, CA - The Panthers suffered a tough 28 - 8 loss against Vallejo on Friday night in Vallejo.  Turnovers and mistakes were largely the difference, as the Panthers were able to move the ball up and down the field all night.  However, most of the team's drives ended with a turnover, which totaled 7 on the night. 
The Panthers will be back in action, at home, on Saturday, October 23rd for their annual homecoming game.  The JV play at 11:00 and the Varsity at 1:00.
Panthers' Woes Continue, Lose to SPSV in TCAL Opener
October 1st, 2021
The Saint Mary's Football Team dropped its third straight game, this time to league rival St. Patrick-St. Vincent, 42-14.  The loss drops the Panthers to 2-3 on the season, 0-1 in league play.
Player Profile: Julian Womack
by Ryan Painter
September 22nd, 2021

Julian Womack is a 3-Star recruit on the football team.  The senior co-captain is a 4 year letterman who plays tight end/outside linebacker.   He’s also been a member of the track team, basketball team, and Circle SM.  While at Saint Mary’s, Julian says A.P. U.S. History and Physiology have been his favorite classes.  Outside of school, Julian works part-time at the Oakland Zoo and enjoys going to car shows and hanging out with his friends and family.  Julian hopes to play football in college and one day hopes to be a doctor.   This week, I got a chance to sit down and talk with him about football and this year’s team.


Q: You’ve been on the team now for four years.  How did you get into your sport?  
A: I have been playing football since I was five years old. My father and grandfather introduced it to me and I played flag football up until high school.
Q: What do you like best about football at Saint Mary’s?
A: My favorite part about playing at Saint Mary’s is the team chemistry. Everyone works together and supports each other which has been a large component of our success. I also love what football brings out within the players. Football lets us express what can’t be expressed in daily life, so that shared experience with my friends and team is really great.jw

Q: What has been the highlight of your season thus far?
A: The best part of my Saint Mary’s athletic career so far has been winning the first two games this season. It was very motivating and got the season off to a powerful start.

Q: Do you have a favorite story you could share about one of the coaches or your teammates?
A: My teammate, Rob Young, said he was going to get a touchdown before the first game. On the last possession, there was a flat route and he caught it in the end zone for his first touchdown. It was great to see his reaction.

Q: Do you have a pregame ritual you don’t mind sharing with us?
A: The night before, I always eat spaghetti and drink two bottles of Pedialyte. The morning of the game, I have two eggs and one Gatorade protein bar. This puts my body in the right state for games.


Q: Any hopes/goals that you have for yourself and for your team this season?

A: I want us to go as far as they can in the playoffs, continue to improve, and strengthen our defense.

Q: What advice would you give to a new player/teammate?
A: Trust the program and the coach’s advice.  Make sure to encourage and support your teammates, and work out in the off season. Football is a team sport and the better teammate you are, the better your experience will be and the better the team will be.

Panthers Fall to Fremont, Now 2-2 on the Season
September 18th, 2021
Berkeley, CA - The Saint Mary's Football team dropped their second straight game, this time to Fremont (Oakland) 22-0.  The Panthers played without several key players, including tight end/split end Julian Womack Batzdorf and lineman James LemMon.   The Panthers fell behind early, 14-0, and could never recover.  The game was still just a two score game until the 4th quarter before the Tigers scored a rushing touchdown and converted the 2 point conversion to put the game out of reach. 
The Panthers have a much needed bye this week, hoping to heal up before their next match up against St. Patrick-St. Vincent on Friday, October 1st.  The varsity game kicks off at 7:00, the JV game at 4:30. 
Panthers Fall to 2 - 1 After Loss @ Justin-Siena
September 10th, 2021
Napa, CA - The Saint Mary's Panthers football team suffered their first loss of the season on Friday night, losing to Justin Siena (Napa), 34 - 0.  Despite strong play from several key Panther players, mistakes and penalties were too much to overcome against the Braves.  Despite the setback, the Panthers season still looks promising, with their next game being at home on September 18th against Fremont (Oakland). 
Also on Friday, the JV team was defeated 38 - 8. 

Panthers Down Deer Valley 20-8; Move to 2-0 on Season


Antioch, CA -  Buoyed by a strong running game and stout defense, the Saint Mary’s football team moved to 2-0 on the season with a 20-8 road win against Deer Valley (Antioch) on Friday Night.  


“Our defense played pretty well, coming up with key stops when we needed them,” said head coach Jahvid Best after the game.  “We didn’t play mistake free football, but I thought we improved in some areas from last week to this week.”


Indeed, the defense didn’t allow a score until late in the 4th quarter after already being up 20-0.  The Panthers running game, led by junior Kyle Goree, continued to pound out yardage and pick up timely first downs while building their 20 point lead.  Running backs coach De’Angelo Hernandez, along with line coach Peter Sekona, were especially pleased after the game.  “James, Arnav, Adam and the guys up played solid football tonight,” said coach Sekona.  “They stayed with their blocks and allowed Kyle enough room to move the chains.  They definitely deserve some credit.”line


The Panthers opened the scoring with a 39 yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Finn Hartney to senior tight end/split end Julian Womack.  Then, after some exchanging possessions several times, the Panthers running game came alive… culminating in a 5 yard touchdown run by Kyle Goree that made the game 14 – 0 at halftime.   


A back and forth third quarter didn’t yield any points before Kyle Goree, again behind good line play, broke the game open with a dazzling, 20 yard touchdown run.  Hemmed in on the sideline, surrounded by what seemed 3 or 4 Wolverines, the powerful Goree broke a tackle, picked up several key blocks, and cut back across the field to score.  That touchdown marked the end for Deer Valley and cemented the game for the Panthers.


Next up for the Panthers will be fellow Christian Brothers school and perennial small school power Justin Siena (Napa) on Friday, September 10th in Napa.  The JV game is at 4:30 while the Varsity kicks off at 7:00.   


Panthers Use Big 4th Quarter to Beat Middletown

August 28th, 2021


On Saturday, the Saint Mary’s football team opened their 2021 season with a big comeback win against Middletown.  The game, originally scheduled for Friday evening in Middletown, was instead played at Brady Park on Saturday afternoon because of poor air quality.  According to first year head coach Jahvid Best, the venue change no doubt played a part in giving the Panthers an edge. “Playing in front of the home crowd undoubtedly gave us a spark,” said the former Cal great.  “I don’t think there’s any doubt that the crowd’s energy helped us, especially in the 4th quarter.”qb


The Mustangs scored the game’s first touchdown on a 1 yard quarterback sneak midway through the 1st quarter before the Panthers answered with a long touchdown run by Kyle Goree.  The Panthers failed to convert the extra point so the score was 7 – 6 after the first quarter.  Middletown scored again in the 2nd quarter to go up 14 – 6 before the Panthers answered just before halftime to close the gap to 14 – 12.


After halftime, both teams botched scoring opportunities with penalties and mistakes – setting up a final quarter that would decide the game.  “I loved the fight our players showed late in the game,” echoed coach Best.  “Our numbers are down so a lot of the guys were on the field for most of the game.  Heat and fatigue rcould have worn them down but they stayed after it and that decided the game.  As we continue to say around here, good things happen when you continue to work.”


The varsity team is back in action next Friday night, September 3rd against Deer Valley in Antioch.  Game time is 7:00, preceded by the Junior Varsity game at 4:30.




Excitement And Enthusiasm Ushers in 2021 Football Season


The 2021 Panther football season will, perhaps, be like no other in recent memory.  The lingering global pandemic, highly touted new head coach, brand new coaching staff, and first year starting quarterback all greet the 2021 team and contribute to the high levels of excitement and enthusiasm that have dominated the locker room this summer.


Former Cal Bear star Jahvid Best was hired last spring to head the program and is anxious to get the season started.  “My beliefs in running a program are rooted in a ‘building blocks’ philosophy,” said coach Best.  “My goal is that each day our players and team improve; that they get stronger, improve their skill, understand the playbook, and support each other. I think the road to success depends on our players and coaches embracing this approach.”


Much of the improvement coach Best talked about has surrounded first year quarterback Finn Hartney.  “Finn has really improved over the course of the summer,” said Best, referring specifically to his impressive summer passing league performances and his ability to understand and quickly digest the playbook.  Another player coach Best spoke glowingly about is senior Julian Womack, who is making the switch from wide receiver to tight end.  Coach Best explains the switch as a desire to involve Julian in both the passing and the running game and to best utilize Julian’s impressive athleticism and play-making ability.  fb


Junior Kyle Goree looks to have a big season as the starting running back, as does junior Anthony Jones. who is described as an “exceptional athlete” and  an “all purpose player who will spend time as a wide receiver, running back and kick returner.”  Senior James LemMon  begins his second year on varsity and returns as the team’s top lineman, where he’ll play on both sides of the ball.   Another senior, Robert Young has also impressed the coaches, not only with his abilities but also with his leadership.   On the defensive side of the ball, look for Robert to be instrumental as the starting middle linebacker and the defensive signal caller.


Overall, coach Best cited the 12 to 14 returners as the core of the team but acknowledged that the team’s success may depend on the ability and willingness of the newer, younger players to improve, commit, and buy into the changes and culture that coach Best says will “define a new era for Saint Mary’s football.   


The Panthers open their 2021 with a home scrimmage against Tamalpais High School.  From there, the Panthers will hit the road for games against Middletown, Deer Valley and Christian Brothers sister school Justin-Siena (Napa).  In October, the Panthers kick-off their TCAL league games… traveling to St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Albany and Vallejo before hosting Hercules on October 23rd.  Coach Best and the entire coaching staff and administration hope you’ll come out and support this new era of Saint Mary’s football.


Football Schedule & Results (2021)

Date Opponent Junior Varsity Result Varsity Result
Aug. 28th Middletown  48 - 6 (L) 25 - 14 (W)
Sep. 3rd Deer Valley 8 - 0 (L) 20 - 8 (W)
Sep. 10th Justin-Siena 45 - 8 (L) 34 - 0 (L)
Sep. 18th Salesian (JV) / Fremont 16-6 (L) 22 - 0 (L)
Oct. 1st SPSV 42 - 0 (L) 42 - 14 (L)
Oct. 8th Albany 7-0 (W) No Contest
Oct. 15th Vallejo No Contest 28 - 8 (L)
Oct. 23rd Hercules No Contest 20 - 12 (L)
Oct. 30th Jesse-Bethel No Contest 44 - 6 (L)
Nov. 5th Richmond No Contest 31 - 30 (W)
Nov. 12th
NCS Playoffs
@ Justin-Siena
No Contest 31 - 13 (L)