Scottsdale Notre Dame kicks off Nolan-era with win

The Notre Dame high school football team kicked off its 2015-16 campaign with a victory against Tolleson. (Submitted photo)

The Notre Dame high school football team kicked off its 2015-16 campaign with a victory against Tolleson. (Submitted photo)

The Notre Dame Preparatory High School football team won its first game of the 2015 season last Friday by a score of 27-17 over Tolleson High School (1-1).

“We made enough plays to win. It goes without saying that in game one you’re going to do some things well and you’re going to do some things poorly,” Notre Dame Prep head coach Mark Nolan said in an Aug. 30 phone interview. “You love to come out with a win, which we did, and then be able to correct those issues and mistakes.”

The Saints were able to hold off the Wolverines thanks to a strong second half.

Sophomore quarterback Kylan Weisser led Notre Dame in the second half with two touchdown passes to senior wide receiver/tight end Mclean Dooley.  Weisser finished the 4-7 for 71 yards and two touchdowns.

“(Kylan) did a great job,” Coach Nolan said. “We have two starting quarterbacks, they share reps in practice. We don’t have any thoughts as to how exactly they’re going to rotate but they share reps in practice and we know they’re both going to play in games. They both do things well and run the offense. Sooner or later they’re both going to get their reps and make plays.”

The other starting quarterback for the Saints is junior Cameron Yowell, who finished the game 5-14 for 84 yards.

The Saints trailed 10-7 at halftime after Tolleson scored late in the second quarter. The back-to-back touchdown tosses from Weisser in the third quarter allowed the Saints pull away and take a 21-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Saints had a trick up their sleeve. Senior wide receiver Bryce Wolfe found fellow senior wide receiver Jeffrey Kindorf on a trick-play pass for a 97-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 27-10. Wolfe was the Saints’ quarterback in 2014.

“It was obviously a gutsy call by our offensive coordinator, Mike Brown,” Coach Nolan said. “He and the offensive staff did a tremendous job game-planning these guys and knowing what to do and knowing what we needed to do to be successful. That was well-timed.”

Kindorf finished the game with four catches for 158 yards and one touchdown.

“I think it just gives our offense a lot of confidence to start the season, which is more important” Kindorf said of his big offensive night in an Aug. 31 phone interview.

“This is our first year under the offensive play-caller, Coach Brown, so we’ve been working tirelessly all spring and all summer to make sure we get this new offense down. I think not only my performance, but the performance of all of my teammates on the offensive side of the ball was superb and that’s a great way to start the season and gain a lot of confidence.”

The Saints offense was strong in the win and the defense also had a strong outing, holding the Tolleson rushing attack to just 114 yards. In its first game of the season, Tolleson rushed for 316 yards.

“This week we watched a lot of film, we had lunch meetings every day to dissect their offense,” Saints senior linebacker Tyler Taffuri said in an August 31 phone interview.

“We knew their offense so well that we knew what they were doing before they even knew it. Everything that we did this week was to prepare for their rushing attack and I think we did a pretty good job at stopping it.”

Notre Dame Prep will continue to play on the road for the next three weeks before opening its new stadium on September 25 versus Sunnyslope. Until then, Coach Nolan says the Saints must be “road warriors”

Bryce Wolfe says the Saints are learning how to take on the mentality.

“Just starting on Monday morning at practice and getting mentally prepared by watching film, going over the plays and making sure we know where we’re lining up,” Wolfe said in an August 31 phone interview. “On the way to the away games, our coach tells us to go over the plays in our head and make sure we know what we’re doing and where you’re lining up on the ball. We’re thankful for the fans that come out and support us; it helps us get mentally prepared each week.”

The Saints take on Skyline (1-0) 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4.

Scottsdale Independent Sports Correspondent Justin Maskulinski can be contacted at jmaskulinski@newszap.com. Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Maskulinski.

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