Sep 292021

By Matt Diano:

Christian Alacqua (Sr.); RB – Chaminade Flyers

To watch the 5’11, 185-pounder out of Manhasset compete the past three weeks is to ask yourself, is it impossible to have a “once-in-a-generation” caliber talent on campus TWICE in a matter of three seasons?

Sidelined for much of his abridged junior campaign due to the injury bug last spring, the future Cornell University lacrosse midfielder is turning heads and making jaws drop with the way he has come out of the gate on fire in his swan song on behalf of the Kevin Dolan Crimson & Gold ground attack!!

The successor to 2019 3rd Team All-State selection/2x Newsday All Long-Island 2nd-team honoree, Mario Fischetti Jr. (now playing in the backfield at Williams College), [Christian] Alacqua has been so remarkable at the onset of the fall that he has the Flyer faithful feeling overcome with a sense of déjà vu….

Less than a year removed from the conclusion of the aforementioned Fischetti’s decorated career (ran for a cumulative mark of just south of 2,000 yards in his two varsity seasons), Alacqua is leaving no doubt that lightning has struck Mineola twice!

An individual that could have feasibly garnered POTW distinction every week thus far (including the week #2 loss to Cardinal Hayes), the co-captain donning the #11 jersey has surpassed the century mark in all three appearances and has delivered no fewer than two touchdowns in any contest! Thus, to call his most recent outing his finest yet is no minor form of flattery.

Establishing new personal-bests in both yardage gained (187) and TD runs (4) on a modest 13 carries (14.4/per), the multi-sport sensation was the vision of a cheetah in an open desert in leading Chaminade to their highest point output since 2014 in a 45-14 victory over St. Peter’s this past Saturday afternoon!

Busting for double-digits on all four of his treks to the house, Alacqua notched his first score late in the 1st quarter (Flyers up 3-0) when he started left and then cut back right to cruise 37 yards down the visiting sideline to increase the advantage to 10-0…

The second quarter proved to his most fruitful as he notched a pair of touchdowns approximately four minutes apart to further give his school separation (24-0) before the intermission…Aided by textbook blocks from junior TE, Jack Francesa, and senior WR, John Schmatz, Alacqua traveled 20 yards untouched for his second score of the game with 8:07 remaining in the half…The hat trick came from a distance of 11 yards away, as he headed up the gut and side-stepped an attempted ankle tackle en route to arriving at the promised land.

The “w” secured and Chaminade now up 31-0 (Hagan Wagner returned the 2nd Half kickoff 70 yards), Alacqua added one final highlight when on the ensuing snap after an Angel Jimenez interception, he found a hole and sprinted 52 yards to complete the “haul” with 6:15 to go in the 3rd quarter.

Through three games, Alacqua’s mind-blowing stat line reads as follows: 47 carries for 464 yards (9.9 average) and eight rushing touchdowns…He also has two receptions (1 TD grab) for an additional 60 yards!

Every game pivotal under the new postseason qualification structure, the “Fortes” brotherhood will be relying on their gifted tailback to continue a historic march up the record books when they welcome Kellenberg Memorial on October 3rd for the latest edition of the Marianist Bowl…The showdown is a rematch of the 2019 NYCHSFL AA-1 title game (won 29-12)…The last time the Firebirds stepped into Gold Star Stadium in 2018 they handed the Flyers a 42-14 defeat on their way to a second consecutive perfect/title-winning year…Hence, the rivalry is at a boiling point!


Mark Anthony Scott (Sr.); RB – St. John the Baptist Cougars

There is just something special about week #3 that seems to bring out the best in #22 in the Cougar jersey…Earning the first POTW selection of his scholastic career in the third week of the 2021 spring season following a 260-yard, 3-TD affair on the ground against Kennedy Catholic, the 5’11, 175-pounder out of Port Jefferson Station was on pace to shatter all career milestones this past Saturday, but SJB was in such firm control that Coach, Phil Alba, elected to allow his invaluable senior tailback to rest for the majority of the final 24 minutes of the contest…

The program off to their first 3-0 start in “forever” after last weekend’s 48-14 drubbing at home over Mount St. Michael Academy, to say that Scott has been the heart and/or soul of the resurgence in West Islip might be the most significant understatement of the century…

Carrying the pigskin just 10 times all afternoon, 40% of his touches yielded “6” as he accrued an incredible 162 yards and took it to the house on four separate occasions as part of the SJB’s monster ground attack (7 total rushing TDs)…

Registering a “true hat trick” (three consecutive scores) between the 1st and 2nd quarters, the bona fide stud sporting the 3.7 GPA ignited the offense to the tune of touchdown runs from distances of 42, 9, and 19 yards out as the Cougars raced (literally in the case of Scott) to a 21-0 lead over the Mountaineers…

The advantage sitting at a comfortable 28-6 early in the 3rd quarter, Alba afforded his magical maven one final series…Seizing the opportunity, Scott punctuated his day by bolting 36 yards to the end zone to cap off the 24-point performance!

Per Newsday, Scott will head into week 4’s clash of unbeatens against Holy Trinity having amassed 449 yards and 7 touchdowns thus far in his last year wearing the Red, White, and Blue!


Christopher Moore (Jr.); MLB/RB – Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds

If there has been one common theme during the Firebirds’ recent rule of prominence (Champions in 2017, 2018; runner-up in 2019), it is that at every turn, [Kevin] Hanifan & company have enjoyed the luxury of featuring a variety of dynamic play-makers on either or both sides of the line of scrimmage…The evening of September 25th bore witness to the next in this lineage in the person of the 5’11, 170-pound, junior, linebacker residing in Massapequa, Chris Moore.

It’s on week #3 and thanks to the multi-sport [slated to be a starting pole on the KMHS lacrosse team in the spring] primo scholar-athlete [4.0 GPA], the NYCHSFL faithful may have already seen the defensive play of the year during Kellenberg’s 38-10 victory on neutral territory over the previously undefeated Rams of Fordham Prep.

The Uniondale based institution up 21-3, but momentum beginning to shift when an untimely turnover in the initial stages of the 3rd quarter put the Rams in business, it was #32 in the Blue/Gold/White curbing any chance of an FP rally…Two snaps removed from the KMHS blunder, Moore answered with a ferocious counterblow via a “Holy Trinity” of defensive excellence, as he stripped the Fordham Prep tailback, scooped up the pigskin, and paraded 60 yards to the house to swing mojo right back into the favor of the Marianist machine!

A key cog on a D-Unit that limited the opposition to their lowest output this far this season (entered averaging 21.5/game), in addition to his aforementioned gallant three-in-one spectacle, Moore was immensely consistent from first whistle to final horn, making 8 total stops.

Getting into the act on offense, prior to his defensive score, Moore experienced the thrill of recording the first official touchdown of his varsity tenure, when he “bounced a run designed to go up the middle to the outside and dashed 15 yards to “Broadway” to close out a 21-point first quarter (21-0) for Kellenberg.


Isaiah Decruz (Jr.); QB – St. Francis Prep Terriers

As the expression goes, “Our real heroes seldom wear capes.”….And such was absolutely true of the 5’10, 175-pound, junior signal caller out of Jamaica [Decruz] in the Terriers’ 18-10 triumph this past Saturday night over Xavier.

Launching the gents from Francis Lewis Blvd into the win column for the first time this fall, the first-year starter under center was dynamic with both arm and legs for the full 48 minutes of regulation.

Responsible for 138 yards of total offensive production, the 11th grader may not have thrown often, but when he did, the ball was on the money, as he connected on 4-of-5 aerial attempts for 65 yards, including a 26-yard, over-the-shoulder TD strike to senior TE, Andre Blakney, in the last 1:25 before the break to send SFP into the locker room with the 6-3 lead over the host Knights.

Demonstrating immense burst and elusiveness with his other limbs, Decruz was Houdini-like in his ability to escape and scramble his way out of trouble…Clearly a master improviser, when viewing game tape, there were moments that we were sure he was “dead to rights” only to be left in awe by a move he’d made to keep a play alive…Credited with a team-best 75 yards on 12 keepers, to watch this kid shake, shimmy, and glide whenever the ‘skin was in his hands was a work of art!

As impressive and worthy as his stat line reads, what was equally as inspiring were the contributions he made that might never get otherwise acknowledged in a box score or brief game summary…September 25th was accurately a tale of the sum of the parts being greater than that finished product…It was not just the plays themselves, but the “clutchness” that accompanied them.

The paper will show that he had a hand in one touchdown.  What won’t be spotlighted in that prior to the TD hurl, he had a long completion to Mike Solimando (2 catches for 34 yards) that moved the ball across mid-field and laid the tracks for that eventual score…

Also not properly represented would be the TWO priceless third down conversions he orchestrated in the 4th quarter that enabled the Terriers to both exhaust clock and cement the win with a bonus TD in the last 3:30.

St. Francis prep clinging to a 12-10 edge, Decruz moved the chains on “3rd & a mile” when he found a hole and scrambled for 25 yards to cross over into enemy territory (Xavier 47)…A few snaps later, he extended the drive again when he rolled out and hit a sliding Solimando just outside the Knight 30….He then called his own number (#5) repeatedly on QB options to put the ball on the doorstep…Senior RB, Jaden St. Fort (45 yards on 7 hand-offs) did the rest, plunging across the goal line to ice win!


Dante Torres (Jr.); QB – St. Anthony’s Friars

During the period stretching from 1993 thru 2013, the words “football” and “championship” were practically synonymous terms in South Huntington…A genuine dynasty that collected 14 AAA crowns and finished as bridesmaids on the other six occasions, the Friars built of yesteryear built a legacy that will forever survive the test of time…

Since 2014, St. Anthony’s advanced to title weekend just once and have been unable to adorn the trophy case with hardware…

THE TIDE IS ONCE AGAIN HIGH, TRADITION is about to be restored, and at/under center of the uprising is the 6’3, 195-pound, junior sniper hailing from Massapequa [Torres]…

One of those rare student-athletes that you know it destined for greatness just from taking one glimpse at them, if you watched the #3 jersey as a Freshman in 2019 you could not help but envision what was in store for him in the coming years…And now that the future is the present, he sincerely has exceeded the most ambitious of expectations…

The epitome of what it means to be a dual-threat quarterback, there was not a piece of his arsenal that went undeployed in the Friars’ 48-28 triumph under the Friday night lights on September 24th against defending (2019) triple-A league champs, Cardinal Hayes

Putting forth the most exquisite collective effort of his still budding varsity career, Torres sniped his way to career-bests in passing yards (316) and touchdowns thrown (3), as he completed 16 of 26 attempts versus the visiting Cardinals.  But this told just half the story…When he was not busy tearing up the opposing secondary with lasers, he proved to be quite adept as a runner.  Carrying the ball just six times, he accumulated 80 yards + two additional scores to round out a stunning five TD night!

The Black & Gold already out to a 7-0 lead (67-yard TD trek by senior RB, Joshua Escobar, on the second snap of the game), Torres hooked up with his favorite target, sophomore wide-out extraordinaire, KJ Duff Jr. (6 receptions for 193 yards) on a 3-yard jump ball in the end zone to increase the St. Anthony’s lead to 13-0 less than five minutes into the 1st quarter…This touchdown exchange between the two blue chippers marked the first of three drives that the duo teamed up to culminate…Earlier in the series, they connected on a 20-yard completion on 4th & 11 to put the ‘skin at the Hayes’ 6-yard-line.

3:20 into the 2nd quarter, Torres’ legs did the talking as he made the opponent pay for a turnover on downs by faking a hand-off, cutting right and then cutting back to the middle of the gridiron for a 54-yard dash to the office to further pad the cushion (20-0)…

STA’s fourth touchdown of the opening half came with 6:13 remaining as Torres went back to Duff, lofting a perfect toss over the shoulder of the 6’5 phenom, who then spun and shed a tackler to conclude the 43-yard TD pitch-and-catch to put Joe Minucci’s brood up 27-0.

Hayes finally on the board (27-7), Torres snuffed out any reason for hope in the last 19.1 seconds before the intermission when he punched in a 1-yard QB keeper for his second rushing TD and fourth overall “6” in a matter of 24 minutes…

The encore for Torres and his partner in crime & punishment [Duff] came approximately 90 seconds into the 4th when the former hurled an immaculate dart over the middle and then let the latter leave defenders in his wake and rack up the YAC for the 50-yard punctuation!

Holding campus visit invitations from the likes of UCONN, Dartmouth, and Princeton among other interested suitors, Torres enters the fourth week of the regular season [vs. St. Peter’s] having thrown for 659 yards and four touchdowns on 46 of 75 passing (61.3%)…And he’s just getting warmed up!


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