Say this for Cretin-Derham Hall: The Raiders know how to make a visitor feel welcome.
The Raiders turned over the ball four times in a nightmarish first quarter and Blaine turned those gifts into 21 points as the Bengals cruised to a 56-20 victory Friday at O'Shaughnessy Field at the University of St. Thomas.
"You get the momentum going, and that makes a big deal," Blaine coach Ben Geisler said. "High school football is a short game and momentum is everything. We were able to capitalize right away and get that momentum."
Cretin-Derham Hall's 12-minute ordeal began on its third play from scrimmage.
Danny Callahan's pass was tipped and intercepted by Blaine cornerback D.J. Gurley. Three plays later, Blaine quarterback Jack Haring scooted 11 yards up the middle for a 7-0 Bengals lead.
Blaine (4-0) doubled its advantage 12 seconds later. The Bengals recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return at the Cretin-Derham Hall 3-yard line. Haring scored on another keeper on the next play.
The game was less than two minutes old and Blaine led 14-0.
Things got worse for the Raiders. Deep in Blaine territory, Callahan hit receiver Peter Udoibok, but Udoibok was stripped of the ball just before he reached the goal line and Blaine recovered in the end zone.
The Bengals turned that turnover into another score, a 13-yard pass from Haring to Jason Kaul. It was 21-0 for Blaine and there was still 4:44 left in the first quarter.
Cretin-Derham Hall (2-2) turned over the ball again on its next possession, this time on an interception by Blaine linebacker Justin Sandberg. It was the one miscue that didn't result in points..
The Raiders' Will Burke caught a tipped pass for a 39-yard touchdown with three seconds left in the half, cutting the deficit to 28-13. But that was as close as they would get.
Blaine's offense came out firing in the second half, scoring touchdowns on all four second-half possessions. Tim Mafe scored on an 11-yard run, Haring threw his second touchdown pass of the game, and Mafe and Will Frederickson added short scoring runs.
Cretin-Derham Hall's best response was Zion Guerra's 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Haring finished with nearly 400 yards of total offense — 303 passing, 75 rushing — and accounted for five of the Bengals' eight touchdowns.
"That was so fun," said Haring, a senior in his first season as a starter. "We had great practice all week. We knew what we wanted to do and just came out and did that."