When the Catholic High School Football League was forced into a low-contact 7-on-7 format because of coronavirus concerns, Emilio Ramirez didn’t know what to make of it. Holy Trinity’s senior quarterback had never even been part of playing the game without linemen, not even in drills. But as he looks ahead to a time when there will again be the traditional game – currently scheduled for March – he sees the benefits.
"This is making me better at reading pass defenses. This is building chemistry with my receivers," Ramirez said after completing 9 of 12 passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns in the host Titans’ 53-22 win over St. Dominic on Monday. "I can’t wait to start [employing] what we’re doing in March."
Ramirez threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior Kameron Robbins, a 30-yard score down the right sideline to senior Jaden Sinclair and a 15-yarder to new target Chad Case. Case is a sophomore who transferred this year from Baldwin High, hoping to raise his football profile.
"[Robbins] transferred the year before from Baldwin and he told me that coming here would make me the best football player I could be," Case said. "I want to play at a high level now and in college. The transition to the speed and strength has been tough but I am developing."
Sinclair and Robbins already made the Titans an athletic bunch and the addition of Case will make it harder to defend them. Sinclair, who also runs track, has begun to attract scholarship football offers.
"I love his athleticism and tenacity," Holy Trinity coach Kahmal Roy said of Case, who also will play defense. "He’s one of those kids who makes plays on both sides of the ball."
Holy Trinity (1-2) built a 39-0 lead midway through the second half and kept the late-surging Bayhawks (0-3) at arm’s length the rest of the way. St. Dominic quarterback Sean Peavy was 8-for-16 passing for 141 yards with three late TD passes and an interception. He had a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Bartolomei, a 40-yard strike to Trevor Cruz and a 7-yard score to Chris Chelius. Chelius also had an interception.
Were the CHSFL able to play traditional tackle football, St. Dominic might never be on a field with Holy Trinity. The Bayhawks are young with only two seniors, but rebuilding. They played an independent schedule last season because they had only about 15 players. The reestablishment began with 35 players coming out this season and the 7-on-7 format – because there is no line play – put St. Dominic in a position to compete.
"We’re taking on the big boys with an eye to putting ourselves on the map," Peavy said. "With just [skill players] we should be able to compete with anyone. And if we take a big boy out, people will notice."
"The goal is to show we’re on the way back to being a good program," Chelius said. "I have no doubt that’s going to happen."