Warriors are on the upswing

Brethren Christian, with a promising new coaching staff led by former NFL player Pat McInally, is 3-2 heading into this week's contest against L.A. Baptist.

October 05, 2011|By Mike Sciacca
  • Brethren Christian offensive coordinator Ryan O'Hara gives a few tips to quarterback Samuel Franklin (3) during the game against Pasadena Poly on Sept. 1.
Brethren Christian offensive coordinator Ryan O'Hara… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

This week marks the midway point of the 2011 prep football regular season and because of a rare oddity in scheduling, five of the six local teams are off.

The lone local taking the field this week is Brethren Christian, which on Saturday travels north to face Los Angeles Baptist at 1 p.m. at L.A. Baptist High. The Warriors head into the nonleague clash coming off perhaps its most impressive showing to date.

Last Friday at Ocean View High, Brethren Christian paired its highest-scoring offensive output of the season with a defense that yielded its fewest points, and the two-sided effort resulted in a one-sided victory, 40-7, over St. Anthony of Long Beach. The win allowed the Warriors to improve to 3-2 in Pat McInally's first year as head coach.

"It was a great, all-around effort by our guys and I was really pleased," said McInally, a 10-year NFL veteran who was a punter and wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals before retiring in 1986. "That was a pretty fun win.


"We had a pretty bad defensive game the week before (a 60-39 loss to Saddleback Valley Christian), but we revamped our defense this week and put in some specific schemes, like blitz packages among other things, and it was authored by Ryan O'Hara. He's really a brilliant guy."

The Warriors are starting to come into their stride under a talented coaching staff headed by McInally, who is a 1971 graduate of Villa Park and went on to play at Harvard and then the NFL, where he was All-Pro and a two-time NFL punting champion. He said his first offensive coordinator in the NFL was Bill Walsh and first defensive coordinator was Dick LeBeau. McInally and the Bengals played in the Super Bowl at the end of the 1981-82 season. They lost to Walsh's San Francisco 49ers team that won its first Super Bowl title.

McInally worked as receivers coach for the previous three years at Brethren Christian before taking on the head coaching position last spring.

"I've been blessed in many ways," said McInally, who is also an author and former pro sand volleyball player. "I'm thrilled to be at Brethren Christian. I just love the school, stepping onto the campus, and I love Principal Rick Niswonger and the support our program has received. We also have a great coaching staff in place to lead the program."

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