Aquinas defense gets physical in win over Crean Lutheran

SAN BERNARDINO – San Bernardino Aquinas spotted Irvine Crean Lutheran a six-play, 65-yard drive that took all of 2:09 and put the Saints in the end zone before the sun set over the nearby hills.

From there, Aquinas wasted little time in answering, tying the game two minutes later, going ahead five minutes later and breezing away to a 35-7 victory in the nonleague game Friday night.

Aquinas (2-0) used a physical defense to hold Crean Lutheran (2-1) to 15 yards rushing and knock quarterback Gavin Folsom (foot injury) and his prime target Patrick McNerney (back) out of the game midway through the second quarter.

“They were just a physical team and we need to match that physicality ourselves,” Crean Lutheran coach Matt Bowman said. “They’re a good team up front. We couldn’t run the ball very much tonight and we had to try some other things. Losing our two best offensive players doesn’t help either.”

No it doesn’t. Especially when Aquinas had its two best offensive weapons: quarterback Ryan Wellock and running back Brandon Rankins passing and running amok. Wellock threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score.

The scoring passes went to Marceles Gooden (10 yards) and two to Joshka Gustav, the first for 73 yards that gave the Falcons a 21-7 lead after one quarter, the second a 32-yarder that capped the scoring with 2:20 left in the third.

Rankins ran for 88 yards on 14 carries, which included a 57-yard touchdown run in which seemingly the entire Saints defense had a shot at bringing him down. None of them could, as he spun, sprinted and stiff-armed his way up the field, down the sideline and into the end zone.

“We were able to score 35 points, which is good. And we were able to do it throwing, which is good,” Aquinas coach Jordan Brusig said.

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