Dynastic Duo: Second-generation gridder John Ricca, with third-generation Keith
Dynastic Duo: Second-generation gridder John Ricca, with third-generation Keith Credit: Darrow Montgomery

The last toss Keith Ricca ever made as Catholic University’s quarterback won’t show up in his amazing career passing stats, but it gave the Cardinals their first postseason victory in more than 70 years.

Ricca’s toss to Andrew Buis for a two-point conversion with about a minute left gave Catholic a 18-17 win over Johns Hopkins in the ECAC Southeast Bowl in Baltimore on Saturday.*

The game ends Catholic’s season, and Ricca’s college career.

Ricca, the youngest child in a family full of star quarterbacks, threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns on the day, giving him 11,403 yards in four years at Catholic. That breaks the previous school record of 9,469 yards, held by oldest brother Kevin Ricca, Catholic’s QB for four years in the mid-1990s.

Throw in the 8,633 yards middle brother JD Ricca tossed while QB’ing for Hampden-Sydney from 2002-2005, and the Ricca Boys—-all of whom were also star prep QBs in the DC area—-totaled 29,505 passing yards as college hurlers.

It is believed—-by me, since nobody else cares about this—-that the Riccas as a unit smashed the NCAA record for passing yards by a nuclear family.

Before Ricca’s climactic toss, Catholic had not won a game in the postseason since a 1936 Orange Bowl win over Mississippi.

Coincidentally, Ole Miss is where two of the QBs from the Manning family—-Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning, who threw for a combined 26,793 yards in college—-went to school.

It is believed—-by me—-that the Mannings’ total now leaves them in second place, far behind the Riccas, in the all-time NCAA nuclear family standings.

(A far more stunning attribute of the Manning Family: Eli Manning’s real name is Elisha. How come that’s never used against him around here? Is every Redskins fan’s Inner 7th Grader dead or what?)

* There’s gotta be an easy Hail Mary joke here—-it’s Catholic U., for crissakes!—-but I can’t think of one.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery