Misa Paiau
Misa Paiau, shown from an earlier game, scored three touchdowns, including an interception return, in Bishop Diego’s 48-21 win at Calabasas. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk file photo)

As usual, the powerful pistons that Qu’ran Gossett calls his legs put their stamp on Bishop Diego High’s 48-21 Marmonte League football win at Calabasas on Friday night.

But Misa Paiau seemingly had a hand in just about everything else the Cardinals did right as Bishop improved to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in its first tour through the highly regarded league.

Gossett rushed for 194 yards and four touchdowns, the seventh time he has topped 100 yards and the second game in a row he topped 190 yards. Paiau did most of his damage through the air, meanwhile, returning an interception for 45 yards for a score and catching TD passes of 48 and 13 yards from AJ Vele. He also had a long kickoff runback of 47 yards.

Calabasas (5-3, 1-2), came into the game with a high-scoring offense, averaging nearly 40 points that featured several of the league’s offensive statistic leaders. But the Coyotes were downright ugly to start this game, self-destructing with four bad center snaps that resulted in 51 lost yards and another that led to a rushed throw and Paiau’s interception return as Bishop took a 21-0 lead with 1:30 left in the first half.

Calabasas’ defense was also accommodating to start the game. On their second score, the Cardinals had stalled at the Coyote 16 and appeared to be settling for a field goal try by Bryan Trejo Villegas. But Calabasas was having none of it and committed two straight penalties to give Bishop a first down and set up Gossett for a 5-yard TD. His first touchdown was a 2-yard score just three plays after Harrison Boeddeker recovered a fumble at the Calabasas 22.

The Coyotes gave a flash of their potent passing attack to finish the half, however, as junior quarterback Alonzo Contreras connected on four passes before finding tight end Domato Peka Jr. for a 14-yard touchdown with just 30 seconds remaining.

Bishop Diego appeared to reassert control as it opened the second half with a seven-play 54-yard drive, with Gossett punching it in from the 3. But Calabasas, having mastered the center shotgun snap, began to show how it had amassed such gaudy offensive numbers to date. A long kickoff return by speedy receiver Aaron Butler set up a short drive that ended with a 5-yard pass from Contreras to Butler.

The Cardinals came right back when Paiau popped his big kickoff return and then followed with a 48-yard catch and run down the sideline for a touchdown. Trejo Villegas’ PAT kick made it 34-14. 

Still, the Coyotes would just not go away. Contreras hit Jerry McGee for an 80-yard touchdown pass just 13 seconds later and the PAT kick kept the game in reach at 34-21. It was their last score, but not their last hurrah, as they took the ball deep into Bishop midway into fourth quarter only to lose the ball on downs as a host of Cardinals broke up a pass near the end zone.

Meanwhile, Bishop put the game away with a 70-yard drive ended by Paiau’s 13-yard reception and a 34-yard scoring run by Gossett.

Contreras finished 28-for-27  for 290 yards while King Miller, who also had six 100-yard rushing games entering the contest, finished with 68 yards rushing for Calabasas.

Bishop returns to La Playa Stadium next Saturday for a game against Westlake.