VENTURA – St. Bonaventure coach Todd Therrien can’t wait for the next game of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. He wants to play on Wednesday. Make it a best-of-three series.
His team’s next opponent is a familiar one: Westlake. The two teams will meet in the semifinals of the Northern Division playoffs next week, which can’t come soon enough for Therrien.
St. Bonaventure, the No. 6 team in the ESPNLA.com rankings, advanced with a 45-21 win over Canyon in the quarterfinals of the Northern Division playoffs at Ventura High School on Friday night. When asked what it means to move on in the playoffs, Therrien said, “It means we get to play another week.”
“Westlake to boot. We haven’t changed much since the last time we played,” Therrien said. “They haven’t changed much. Maybe we can play this on Wednesday.”
Tanner Souza scored three touchdowns for St. Bonaventure (11-1) against Canyon (10-2). He caught four passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He scored a rushing touchdown in the first quarter. He also intercepted a pass on Canyon’s first play from scrimmage.
Therrien compared Souza to New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker. Only Souza is still learning the St. Bonaventure offense. He normally plays linebacker but has been taking more snaps on the offensive side of the ball. Therrien said Souza hasn’t played offense on a regular basis since the eighth grade.
“He’s a phenomenal player,” Therrien said. “He might be a Division I-A guy.”
Souza gave his team a 10-7 lead with a 10-yard touchdown run with 1:50 to play in the first quarter.
He extended the St. Bonaventure lead 30 seconds later with a 64-yard touchdown catch to put his team up 17-7.
Souza came up with another big play on offense, catching a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Marc Evans with under a minute to play in the first half. Souza’s second touchdown catch gave his team a 24-7 lead at halftime.
In addition to scoring three touchdowns, Souza intercepted a pass in the first quarter. It was on the first play from scrimmage for Canyon.
Canyon came out and scored on its first possession in the second half. T.J. Yonkers caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jonathan Jerozal to cut the St. Bonaventure lead to 24-14. But that was as close as Canyon would get in the second half.
“That’s what they wanted to do,” said Canyon coach Chris Varner. “Go down and score.”
Yonkers caught three touchdown passes for Canyon and finished with six catches for 100 yards.
“He stepped up huge,” Varner said. “That’s what he’s been doing all season.”
Jerozal threw for 221 yards and the three touchdowns to Yonkers. He also threw two interceptions.
St. Bonaventure running back Shaun Wick gave his team a 31-14 lead in the third quarter with a 34-yard touchdown run. It was the first of two touchdown runs for Wick. He gained 189 yards on 15 carries.
Canyon running back Darius Rudolph rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries.