By Matt Diano:
On an afternoon when the school honored one of the best teams in program history (the 2009 AAA Regula Season Champions & Playoff Runners-up), it was the 5’7, 165-pound, junior field general that truly owned the day in shepherding the Green & White to a 40-14 victory over visiting Kennedy Catholic, in a A/AA crossover on October 20th.
Putting his dual-threat capabilities on full display in helping HT to their second win of the 2019 season, Ramirez accumulated 155 yards of comprehensive contribution, rushing for 104 yards on eight carries, and throwing for an additional 55 yards on 3-for-6 passing.
The East Meadow resident’s multi-tasking prowess would translate directly into three scores for Holy Trinity, as he utilized his legs to explode for a 67-yard TD run and showed excellent precision with his arm in enemy territory, connecting on touchdown passes of 19 and 21 yards.
Perhaps the most important element of Ramirez’s strong effort last Sunday is that it provided further evidence that with increased reps, he is growing exponentially in confidence and has the offense peaking at the ideal time…Starting the season 0-4 and averaging just 14.3 points, the noticeable progression at the QB position has witnessed the Titans win two of their past three games while raising their points per game to 38.3.
Holy Trinity will enjoy the luxury of a bye during week #8, which will allow them to enter the postseason fresh and ready to shock the Catholic football world.
The prototypical mold of what we have come to expect from a Mike Jioia coached student-athlete, the senior two-way player from Queens is someone whose value is measured not by any one single act, but rather by all of the little contributions that by the end of 48 minutes, add up to a major impactful and difference-making performance.
A catalyst and leader in all three phases of the game, the two-time All-Catholic selection made his mark in a variety of ways this past Saturday in captaining his team to the 22-8 victory over Holy Cross.
Embracing the role of an all-purpose tailback, Resker had moments of brilliance both as a ball-carrier and as a pass-catcher, tallying 63 total yards and recording what would be the game-winning touchdown early in the 4th quarter.
Taking the hand-off three times, the 6’1, 180-pounder may have only been credited with 10 yards, but it was the quality and not the quality of the rushes that proved invaluable, as all attempts resulted in 1st downs and preserved possession for the Clippers.
Coming into the game third on the team in catches with seven grabs for 87 yards and one TD snatch, Resker made perhaps his biggest haul of the year when he was on the back end of a family affair (James to Thomas) that put Xaverian in front for good…The touchdown catch was one of two overall for him, as he concluded the contest with a team-high 53 yards as a receiver.
Shifting the focus to his defensive duties as the backbone of the linebacking corps, Resker’s imprint was every bit as evident, as Xaverian held a Knights squad that was averaging 23.2 points per game the last five weeks to just eight in snapping HC’s two-game winning streak.
Notching new career-highs with 11 total stops (2 TFL) and two sacks, as well as adding an interception for the second weekend in a row and forcing a fumble, Resker will head into his final postseason (Xaverian has a bye in week #8) with the following 2019 stat line: 36 tackles (3rd on the team), 4 sacks (1st), 2 INTs (1st), two caused fumbles (1st).
Masterful in creating desired starting field position, between three punt returns (67) and two kick-off returns (47), Resker emerged with 107 yards as a special teamer.
Advertised weeks ago as one of, if not the overall top defensive back on Long Island, the 5’9, 160-pound senior certainly lived up to his elite status this past Friday in the Friars’ 35-14 victory over Monsignor Farrell.
Competing in his final Homecoming game and in his next-to-last contest on Cy Donnelly Field, #21 in the Black & Gold made sure that the STA faithful got their money’s worth, as his transcendent presence in the secondary was essential in turning “D” into “O” on two separate occasions.
The game still scoreless less than one minute into the 2nd quarter, Alvarado demonstrated excellent awareness, intercepting an overthrown pass by the Farrell QB at the Lions’ 33 and returning it to the 9 to set up the first score of the game (9-yard TD run by Mario Escobar on the ensuing snap)…This would be the first of a pair (not including a third that was negated by penalty) of INTs for the Smithtown resident.
The Friars now leading 28-7 at the onset of the 4th quarter, it was Alvarado again at the center of a turnover-causing play, exploiting yet another overthrow and dashing 41 yards in front of his own sideline for the pick-6 for St. Anthony’s last TD of the night.
Earlier in the evening, Alvarado darn near set up another scoring opportunity for STA when he scooped up a blocked FG attempt and sprinted 45 yards to the opposing 17-yard line late in the 1st quarter. The drive ended with a missed 29-yard FG try.
In addition to the two interceptions, the consummate 12th grade ball-hawk was credited with three tackles and one successful pass break-up to round out his extraordinary body of work.
St. Anthony’s will wrap up the regular season when they host St. Francis in a AA/AAA non-league crossover showdown…The Terriers feature one of the top receivers in AA-1 in the person of Omarion Jones (4th in receptions with 17, 3rd in yards with 305, 4th in TD with 3 thru week #6). Hence, the Alvarado/Jones match-up should be a battle all afternoon.
Cameron Holmes (Sr.); WR/FS – Moore Catholic Mavericks
Defying any false narratives about the offense being a one-man show (Justin Lacks; 251 yards + 3 rushing touchdowns on 36 carries), for the second week in a row, it was a Mavs wide receiver securing a spot on the POTW list.
Stepping onto the gridiron last Sunday with the top seed in the AA-2 playoffs at stake, the 6’2, 185-pounder out of the Garden State confirmed that the bigger the moment, the more he will come alive. Posting what was his most complete/universal performance of the season, the September 2019 “Heart of A Giant” Award (sponsored by the NY Giants organization) nominee asserted himself admirably on both sides of the ball in spurring MC to the 36-26 victory over previously unbeaten St. Joe’s by the Sea.
Bringing the “boom” on offense during the opening half, Holmes was responsible for two of the school’s three touchdowns; in each case, his TD reception answered a SJS score.
MC leading 8-6, but pitted with a 3rd & 14 with a little less than 3:00 remaining in the 1st quarter, Holmes found himself on the back end of a 63-yard strike from senior QB, Nick Heineman, for the touchdown to increase the Mavericks’ advantage to 16-6.
Almost 12 minutes later (2:20 remaining in the 2nd) with the scoreboard reading 16-12, the two 12th graders hooked up again, this time from a distance of 18 yards on 3rd & 10 to restore Moore’s two-TD edge, 24-12.
The multiple TD-catch day was the second of its kind this season for Holmes (week #1 versus Mount St. Michael) and the third of his four-year varsity career (2018 Week #3 against St. Francis Prep)…At present, his 24 total grabs for the season ranks 1st among all AA-2 WRs and his 415 yards and five touchdowns are 2nd only to teammate/week #6 POTW, Anthony Perlongo.
If the first 24 minutes of the game were reserved for “O”, then the last 24 offered the opportunity for Holmes to shine on defense…
Making his greatest contribution when he recorded a 4th quarter sack that forced a punt, the Mavericks capitalized off the ensuing possession, putting the nail in the proverbial coffin when Lacks punched in his third TD of the afternoon to make the score 36-20.
The referenced sack, the first of the year and the fifth of his career, came as part of an effort that saw him tie his season-best of eight tackles (2 solo, 6 assisted), while also successfully breaking up a pair of throws from the leading passer in AA, Jackson Tucker…A credit to Holmes and the entire MC secondary is that while Tucker did convert 75% of his attempts, he was held to just 123 yards in the air, which is 73.5 below his 2019 average.
As icing on the cake, Holmes got involved in special teams too, registering a 36-yard punt return.
Moore Catholic closes out the regular season on October 26th by traveling to Long Island to square off with St. John the Baptist.
Jordan Delucia (Sr.); RB – Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds
The best Double-A player of all-time? That was the question posed by a prominent twitter account (New York HSFB) in addressing the colossal three-year varsity career of the future Harvard University student-athlete.
The first player this season to be a repeat selection to the POTW list, as much as we try to share the honors among as many worthy young men as possible, there simply was no way we could in good conscience ignore the sublime showing put forth in the Firebirds’ 49-17 triumph on the road over St. Peter’s.
On a day that started in a most unusual manner with the KMHS bus breaking down one mile short of its destination, the only “machine” that will be remembered years from now will be the one that was wearing #7 on his back and carried Kellenberg to their fifth win this season and their 27th victory in the past 2.5 years.
Entering week #7 as the only AA player (all divisions) ranked in the top-5 in both rushing (1st) and receiving (4th) yards, the 6’0, 208-pounder out of Bellmore sufficiently padded his 2019 statistics in both areas, racking up new personal-bests in both total yardage (313) and touchdowns scored (5).
On fire from the initial whistle, Delucia wasted no time in getting the Blue & Gold juggernaut on the scoreboard when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from fellow senior, Dan Settino (5-for-6, 145 yards 3 TDs), on the team’s opening drive to quickly make the score 7-0. This marked his fourth receiving TD of the season and the eighth of his career. He later tacked on a 5-yard reception to finish the day with two grabs for 85 yards.
Following Settino’s second touchdown toss (35-yarder to Max Mongelli) and a fumble recovery on defense by Keith Curran, Delucia increased the Kellenberg lead to 21-0 in the 1st quarter when he took the direct snap and cruised 15 yards to the house for the first of his four rushing TDs.
An Eagles’ touchdown pass cut the edge to 21-7 at the end of 12 minutes, but Delucia issued a response with approximately 5:10 left to play in the half when he again lined up in the Wildcat formation, handled the snap, turned the corner and trekked 35 yards for his third overall touchdown to re-establish the 21-point advantage.
The “W” seemingly well in-hand (KMHS leading 35-17), Delucia tacked on TD runs of 7 and 45 yards in the 3rd quarter to account for the last 14 of his 30-point matinee…Of the 20 NYCHSFL schools that stepped on the field this weekend, he outscored 14 of them.
All in all, his stat line on the ground read as follows: 18 carries for 228 yards and the aforementioned four touchdowns…As of the time of publication, his swan song yearly totals of 1,441 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns currently place him 2nd and 3rd respectively in the entire Empire State. Factoring in his previously cited four TD receptions in 2019, his 21 overall scores also puts him atop the NYS leaderboard.
With just one regular season game to go (AA/AAA crossover versus Christ the King on October 26th) before he and his teammates commence their run for a third straight AA crown, Delucia approaches the homestretch of his tenure as a Firebird having compiled these astonishing career numbers: 355 carries for 3,439 yards and 40 touchdowns; 41 catches for 864 yards and eight TDs; 4,303 yards + 48 touchdown of cumulative production!
Dating back to the 2013 season with Robert Madison, the Gaels have enjoyed a quarterback tradition like no other…The torch has been passed (perhaps literally) from Madison (2014 5th Team All-State) to Michael Apostolopoulos (2016 2nd Team All-State) to Derek Robertson (2017 HM All-State; 2018 2nd Team All-State)…And based on the way he has been performing in his first season taking the snaps for the IP varsity, it goes without saying that Darius Wilson is well on his way towards fulfilling the prophecy of our AAA season preview by emerging as the next Iona Prep iconic signal caller.
Entering week #7 ranked 2nd in the entire NYCHSFL in both yards thrown for (1,556) and touchdown passes (16), the 6’2, 185-pounder out of the Bronx continued to make quite the case for himself in terms of triple-A Offensive Player of the Year consideration in IP’s 35-18 victory over Christ the King the past Sunday…Completing 25 of his 38 attempts, the 11th grader recorded the first 300-yard performance of his scholastic career, concluding the afternoon with 303 yards. Aside from his varsity debut where he accumulated 197 yards aerially, Wilson has now hurled for 238 or more yards in all of his starts in 2019. His three TD strikes extends his streak of multiple-touchdown efforts to a perfect 7-for-7, including five (4 in air, 1 on the ground) versus Pope John XXIII (week #2) and three respectively against Xavier (2 passing, 1 rushing), Chaminade (all with his arm), and Monsignor Farrell (all throwing) during weeks 1, 3, and 5.
For the year, Wilson is boosting an unfathomable 67% connection percentage (134-for-200), has gunned his way to 1,859 yards in the air, and has played a role in 21 total scores (19 via sky, two by way of land).
Already receiving college offers (William & Mary), the captain and honor student (93 GPA) has ensured the Gaels the top-seed for the postseason and will be determined to keep the Gaels perfect (only unblemished team remaining in the NYCHSFL) when they head on the road to face returning AAA runners-up, Cardinal Hayes, in the regular season finale…Both programs currently, sit among the top-5 (#1 Iona Prep; #5 Cardinal Hayes) in NYS according to the MaxPreps polls.