By Matt Diano:
Last Friday marked the “last hurrah” for one of the most prolific families in Kellenberg and/or NYCHSFL history when the 6’0, 180-pound two-way player out of Port Washington [Mongelli] became the last of his four brothers to don the Blue & Gold for a final occasion in his school’s 35-25 road victory against St. John the Baptist…Dating back to the 2013 season, the quartet of “ginger gems” (Michael: 2013/2014, Marco: 2015/2016, Matthew: 2017/2018, Maximus: 2019/2021) racked up 150+ catches, over 3,000 yards of receiving output and were responsible for 35 touchdowns on behalf of the Firebirds…The latter three brethren combined to earn POTW honors four times (Max being the only 2x recipient; previously during the 2019 AA semifinals), with the last two leading KMHS to a pair of “AA” crowns in 2017 and 2018 (Matthew), as well as a runner-up finish in 2019 (Max)…Simply put, when 2021/2022 rolls around and we take a gander at the Kellenberg sideline, it is going to have quite the peculiar feeling as I personally have never covered a Kellenberg game without a Mongelli making his presence known…Wearing the infamous #12 jersey like his siblings before him, if you were to look at the stat sheet, his performance in the 2nd quarter alone would be grounds enough for selection. Getting the job done on both sides of the line of scrimmage, Mongelli halted a promising Cougar drive early in middle stanza when he made a diving lunge to intercept a pass inside his own 15 to keep the Firebirds in front, 7-3…The Firebirds now trailing 10-7 with just under 4:00 remaining in the opening half, Mongelli immediately swung momentum back into the favor of the Marianist institution as he cruised over the middle to haul in a 30-yard, over-the-shoulder touchdown reception from Ethann Greenwood to answer SJB’s 35-yard TD connection (Kyle Chase to Bryce Robinson) two minutes prior…The Mongelli TD grab ignited a streak of 28 unanswered points between the 2nd and 3rd quarters, allowing KMHS to establish a cushion and give field time to the rest of the departing seniors…Concluding last Friday’s contest with 2 catches for 35 yards and the aforementioned TD, of equal importance when evaluating his full contribution were the aspects of the game that often get lost in a box score…Sensing a match-up problem, the KMHS coaching staff assigned him to shadow Robinson in the 2nd half and he answered the call, completely shutting down the gifted receiver as part of an overall five tackle, 2 pass break-up showing from the cornerback position…His coaches also applauded his selflessness in the blocking game as his willingness to sacrifice his body was key to enabling his fellow swan songers—Thomas Sluka and Griffin Chernoff to rush for a combined 168 yards, with each scoring a pair of TDs…Stringing together three consecutive wins to wrap up the spring, Kellenberg concluded 2021 with a 4-2 record!
Another ironman who picked Bowl Week to have his finest effort of the 2021 season was the 6’1, 210-pound junior tailback/linebacker [Robbins]…Earning the second POTW distinction of his career (Week #5 of the 2019 season] in last Friday’s 27-7 win over Kennedy Catholic, the returning All-Catholic selection from Baldwin, may have been credited with just a single score (47-yard sprint two minutes into the 2nd quarter to give the Titans the 6-0 edge), but it was the consistency of his play on both ends that proved to be invaluable…Chewing up yardage on just about every carry throughout the afternoon, even when he was not the individual to punch the ball across for the TD, he was always instrumental in orchestrating the drive…Taking the hand-off 19 times, Robbins accumulated 173 yards on the ground (9.1/per)…Turning his attention to defense, #3 in Green’s contributions as both a run stopper and a pass rusher was a significant factor in HT’s success in holding a visiting Gaels squad to well below their seasonal average of 30+ points per game…Making six stops as a tackler, where Robbins especially made his mark on “D” was on a pair of perfectly timed QB hurries that either created a turnover on downs or forced a KC punt…The “w” no longer in doubt (27-0), he was not on the field when Kennedy scored their lone touchdown late in the 4th quarter giving time to other players on the field.
Tomorrow we will post the Players of the Week from NYC Week 1!