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Sharp Is on Cutting Edge in 45-10 Notre Dame Victory

Mission League: He catches seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in trouncing of Chaminade.

October 28, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SHERMAN OAKS — Jim Sharp of Notre Dame High is taking an acting class, and he turned in an Academy Award-like performance Friday night in his role as a football player.

Sharp caught seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, ran for another touchdown and made his share of tackles at cornerback as Notre Dame won its Mission League opener with a 45-10 thrashing of Chaminade.

Phil Beckmann, proving that the Knights (7-0-1) can pass the ball, completed 12 of 18 attempts for a career-high 229 yards and three touchdowns.

Notre Dame's defense had not given up a touchdown since Sept. 23 against Saugus, but receiver Josh Jones ended the streak with a two-yard touchdown reception from Erik Vose with six seconds left before halftime to pull the Eagles to within 16-10.

That seemed to inspire the Knights in the second half. With Sharp and Michael Luderer making the catches, Beckmann picked apart the Chaminade secondary.

And a couple nifty receiver reverses by Sharp only made the Eagles' task more difficult.

Sharp was burned on Jones' touchdown catch, getting out-jumped for the ball in the left corner of the end zone. But he more than made up for it with a 13-yard touchdown run and a 21-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.

Chaminade (5-3) learned what most Notre Dame opponents have discovered, that it's very difficult to beat the Knights when they are scoring points because it allows kicker Nick Folk to take the field. Five consecutive times in the second and third quarters, Folk kicked the ball into the end zone, forcing the Eagles to start on the 20-yard line.

Notre Dame's offense turned in its best performance of the season, rolling up 460 yards with a balanced attack. Beckmann's accuracy and toughness was on display.

"Phil is an outstanding quarterback and he's getting better and better every week," Coach Kevin Rooney said.

Notre Dame set up a Mission League title showdown at St. Francis next week.

Chaminade did expose a potential weakness in Notre Dame's defense. Tight end Jesse Taylor was roaming a little too freely and caught three passes for 55 yards. Next week, Notre Dame faces a top tight end in Nathan Terrazone.

Vose, a sophomore, kept Chaminade in the game in the first half but faced a relentless pass rush in the final two quarters. He completed 20 of 35 passes for 193 yards.

Notre Dame looked in control after Beckmann's 35-yard touchdown pass to Sharp gave the Knights a 16-3 lead.

Then came an 80-yard Chaminade drive in the final 1:27 of the first half to give the Knights a scare--except for Sharp.

"It put them back in the game, but we didn't get down," Sharp said. "We played with heart in the second half."

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