Nov 032021

By Matt Diano:

Kameron Robbins (Sr.); RB – Holy Trinity Titans

If you are a philatelist, you collect stamps; a numismatist collects coins; the lepidopterist collects butterflies…So what does the 6’0, 190-pound senior running back for the Titans [Robbins] stockpile? Player of the Week awards!!!! And the definition for that hobby is simply “beast”!

Making the POTW list for the third time in as many years (once each in his sophomore-senior campaigns) in the final regular season contest of his incredible scholastic career, the Baldwin resident was so lights out in HT’s 42-0 victory against Kennedy Catholic last Saturday afternoon, that he required just one half and five touches to leave yet another indelible mark on his home soil!

Posting a career-best three touchdown effort, #3 in Green & White took it to the house from distances of 15, 48, and 5 yards out between the 1st and second quarters to help the Hicksville based program establish a 26-0 advantage at the intermission!

The game still scoreless as the clock dripped just below 4:00 remaining in the opening quarter, Robbins got his team on the board when he took the handoff up the middle, did a spin move, and kept his feet long enough to fall across the line to make the score 7-0.

After Head Coach, Kahmal Roy’s defense induced a punt, Robbins struck for the second consecutive series, putting his toughness on display when he incorporated repeated stiff-arms to ward off would-be tacklers on his way to the 48-yard trek down the host sideline to double the lead to 14-0 less than 2:00 into the 2Q…

This long run cited above was the first of a pair of touchdowns earned by Robbins on the ground in the 2nd…Later (last 3:10; Trinity up 20-0), he culminated the fourth and final successful drive of the half, when he followed up a 38-yard completion from sophomore QB, Rocco Rainone (3-for-4, 88 yards, 1 TD) to 9th grader, Jayden Simpson, by going the rest of the way (5 yards) on the next snap to polish off his personal hat trick!

All in all, Robbins ended the afternoon with 67 yards to raise his senior total to 773 on 76 carries (10.2/per) and 10 touchdowns…In Trinity’s previous meeting with KC last spring, he torched the Gaels for 168 yards and 1 TD on 18 attempts!

Holy Trinity, who head into the postseason unblemished and as the owners of the top seed, will now enjoy a bye in the quarterfinal round of the AA-2 playoffs!


Devin Page (Jr.); QB – Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds

Drew Bledsoe/Tom Brady, Jerry “Rev” Harris/Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass, Lance Harbor/Jonathan Moxon, and perhaps even for you NY Jet fans out there, Zach Wilson/Mike White, there is a long history (both genuine and fictional) at every level of our sport of cases where a team enters a season feeling very confident in the skill set of one signal caller only to be left dumfounded when they realize that the back-up is every bit as capable!

Such seems to be true in Uniondale for the Firebirds, as they have discovered a goldmine in the person of their 6’5, 185-pound, junior, dual-threat field general [Page]…

Uncertain of how much playing time he would receive at the onset of the 2021 fall season due to the presence of The Citadel committed senior QB, Ethan Greenwood, since being thrust into the starting-11 because of injury, the 11th grade honor student (4.0 GPA) out of Valley Stream has looked the part of a gentleman who is NEVER going to carry a clipboard again during his playing days…

Squaring off with Moore Catholic in a Saturday matinee that determined which school would secure the final at-large berth to the triple-A playoffs, Page answered the call to action by turning in the greatest game of his young career in a 35-13 triumph on the road against the Mavericks…

Demonstrating a willingness to sacrifice “life and limb”, it goes without saying that those limbs did all the talking on October 30th, as he was equally lethal by land or via sky during a 48-minute highlight reel that saw him account for 336 yards of offensive production while also having a hand in four of five touchdowns posted by the Blue & Gold attack!

Tying his career-high for touchdowns passes with 3 (previously achieved versus Chaminade in week #4), Page spread the ball out to five different targets on his way to an 18-for-24, 183-yard exhibition aerially!!!

As noted above, his legs did not disappoint either, as he set a new personal-best on the ground, concluding the “must-win” scenario with 151 yards and one additional TD on 13 keepers (11.6/per)…He now has rushing touchdown in two straight appearances

Getting KMHS off to a fast (yes, he was) start, on the initial series of the contest, Page called his own number on an RPO, faking the handoff and then exploding through a hole on the left side of the line to sprint 53 yards to paydirt to immediately put the visitors in front, 7-0!

Not going down without a fight (down 14-0), MC would climb back into contention when they hit on back-to-back TD passes (the second after a rare INT tossed by Page) to shave the deficit to 14-13 in the last 4:00 of the 1st half…But like every immortal athlete, Page did not allow the one error to rattle him.  On the contrary, true to the “short memory” mentality, he issued a poised response, guiding his team down the field before capping the ensuing drive by finding fellow senior, Peter von Schoenermarck (6 grabs for 67 yards), on a six-yard screen to send Kellenberg into the break up 21-13!

Just as he had done to start the afternoon, as soon as Page had the pigskin in his hands, there was no hesitation in getting back to work and throwing (literally) points up on the board…On the school’s first possession of the 3rd quarter, he lofted a perfect ball over the shoulder of Jaden Lyons (2 catches for 44 yards), and then allowed his senior receiver to do the rest to finish off the 41-yard hook-up that padded the lead to 28-13…

Early in the 4th, he went back to his favorite weapon, icing the game when he and von Schoenermarck played pitch-and-catch on a beautiful 18-yard fade for the insurance touchdown!

The former reserve’s huge afternoon in the regular season finale put a bow on a once unforeseeable saga that has witnessed him complete 64.2% of his passes (86-for-134) for 1,089 yards and 13 touchdowns…Despite playing in the majority of just six games, his yardage and TD accumulation ranks 4th and 3rd respectively among all NYCHSFL (regardless of division) quarterbacks!

Sixth-seeded Kellenberg will travel to White Plains to face off with #3 Archbishop Stepinac…If Page continues his string of strong outings, do not be surprised to see the upset! Anything is and has been possible for the #14 jersey this year!


Messiah Burch (Jr.); RB – Monsignor Farrell Lions

Have you ever played that children’s game where you pose the question “what would you get if you combined two unrelated items?”  Well, in the case of the 5’10, 170-pounder from Staten Island [Burch], he’d be the byproduct of a union between a cheetah and a microwave!!!  He heats up in a hurry and once he gets in space, he is gone in a flash!

Hampered by injuries at the start of his junior season after absolutely rocketing onto the Catholic football scene last spring, it has only been in the past four weeks that Farrell HC, Anthony Garofalo, has uncaged his prized cat…And since his return, the Lions have been roaring to the tune of a 3-1 record (three game winning streak), including their most recent 35-6 triumph this past Saturday afternoon over St. Peter’s in an all-SI affair…

In danger of potentially missing out on the AAA playoffs in their entirety, by virtue of the win, the gents of Amboy Road not only punched their own ticket, they actually emerged as the #2 overall seed after all tiebreaker criteria was examined!

Carrying the skin on just eight occasions, the 11th grader with the 90+ GPA to accompany the 4.4 acceleration, succeeded in rewriting his personal record book on October 30th, ending the weekend with 201 yards and four TDs to propel the Maroon & Gold to their second 35+ storing game in a row (posted a fall-best 42 in week 7 against Xavier)

Responsible for the first 28 points of the contest (28-0 approximately 4:30 into the 3Q), Burch drew first blood for MF when he culminated the opening drive with an 11-yard run to the left…His resume grew exponentially better the longer the day went, as he added 82 (7:33 remaining) and 54-yard (2:03 to go) dashes in the 2nd quarter to send his team into the break with the 21-0 advantage…TD #4 for Mr. #4 (his jersey) came on a one-cut, 30-yard bolt down the gut where he was motoring at such immense speed that the ref (stationed on the goal line) had to hustle to get out of his way…

The statistical leader in every rushing category for the Lions this season despite his early absences, Burch had racked up outings of 145 yards/1TD, 90yrd/2TDs, and 129yrds/2 scores in his previous body of work versus Chaminade, Kellenberg, and the already mentioned Knights of Xavier…This adds up to 565 yards and nine touchdowns on a modest 36 tries (alarming 15.7/per average)…

Both of Burch’s career POTW accolades (co-recipient during week #3 of the spring) have now come at the expense of the Eagles…In the prior battle, it was his 137-yard, 2-touchdown effort that rescued MF from a 14-0 deficit and inspired their eventual 28-20 dub!

Holding current scholarship offers from Buffalo, Temple, Rhode Island, and UMass, with the way Burch runs so naturally and separates from defenders, there are sure to be MANY interested parties vying for this human jackpot!

Farrell, who last won NYCHSFL hardware when they repeated in 1999 and 2000, kick off their title intentions by hosting seventh seeded Christ the King, this coming Saturday at 4pm!


Tyler Bobe (So.); RB – Mount St. Michael Academy Mountaineers

If you are a person that subscribes to the attitude “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but rather the magnitude of the fight in the dog”, then you need to be in the proverbial corner of this this 5’7, 125-pound sophomore tailback [Bobe]!

Praised by the Mountaineer coaching staff for the amount of heart and perseverance he demonstrates on a weekly basis, if POTW awards could be/were bestowed upon the student-athlete that left nothing in the tank and upheld the mission of the NYCHSFL, then the undersized sophomore might shatter the record for most times recognized…

Already an “All-American” in the areas of guts, desire, and selflessness, the quality of the stat line would match the breadth of the character in last Saturday’s 30-6 victory for MSMA against Nazareth Regional

The catalyst/#1 option as part of an ensemble that combined to gain a season-high 177 yards and register their first multi-TD game on the ground, Bobe’s effort was invaluable as the Mount snapped a four-game skid and improve to 2-6 (1-5 in league) this year…

An individual that has been coming on strong and/or peaking down the home stretch, like many of the peers that preceded him in this week’s edition of the POTW list, Bobe’s selection coincides with him establishing new career-bests in yardage (76) and touchdowns (2)…His TD runs came from distances of 7 and 12 yards respectively!

A bona fide coming of age tale being broadcast before our very eyes, the compare/contrast of the first four weeks (92 total yards, 0 scores) of the season versus the final three (155yrd, 2 TDs) has been night and day for Bobe!

As he embarks on the postseason, he does so with his 247 yards and two touchdowns (on 61 carries) either leading or being tied for the top spot on the Mountaineer totem pole!

Seeded 5th in the AA-2 playoffs, Mount St. Michael will be road warriors this Sunday when they travel to Flushing to take on #4 Holy Cross

When the two squads collided in week #5 (26-20 win for the Knights), Bobe was limited to 8 yards on eight attempts…However, having since gone into a groove, we are predicting a much more substantial performance in the rematch!


Luke Carson (Sr.); RB/DB – Xaverian Clippers

True to the 1970s hit song for James Taylor, those in attendance for this past Friday’s clash between Xaverian and Cardinal Spellman, most definitely saw both “fire” and “rain” in the Clippers 13-0 victory over the visiting Pilots…The rain, or more accurately, “torrential downpour”, came courtesy of God; the fire on the other hand was provided by the 6’1, 145-pound 12th grader hailing from Rockaway Park [Carson]

Suiting up and stepping onto the field at the Aviator Sports Complex one final time in his varsity tenure, Carson did everything within his power to guarantee that he and his fellow 12th graders will not soon forget their senior night!

Taking the handoff 12 times, Carson overcame the horrendous weather conditions to establish a new personal best with 125 yards, highlighted by his third TD run of his swan song season!

The game knotted at the double goose-egg in the final 2:00 of the 1st quarter, it was Carson dealing the go-ahead blow on a 3rd & 8 draw, exploiting a hole on the right side of the line to dart 16 yards to the house to give Xaverian the 6-0 advantage…

Not the person who directly punched in the second TD of the night (3:27 to go in 2Q) for the Blue & Gold, Carson did contribute several key runs that moved his school into position for the “6”…Junior QB, Bobby Benoit, had the privilege of punctuating the drive on a 12-yard keeper!

Defensively, #41 was credited with two tackles in the collective shutout effort!

Carson rides into the postseason atop the leaderboard in every rushing category for the Clippers with 375 yards and three touchdowns on 60 attempts (averages of 6.3/carry; 75.0/game)!

The sixth seed in the AA-2 bracket will be bound for Somers this coming Friday night for a quarterfinal against defending (2019) “A” champs, Kennedy Catholic…The Gaels prevailed by a comfortable 42-7 margin during week #5, but per Maxpreps, Carson was not active for the game.  His involvement could/should narrow the gap considerably!


Tafari Johnson (Sr.); LB/TE – Cardinal Hayes Cardinals

It would not be November in the Metropolitan Catholic Football League if C.J. O’Neil’s Cardinals were not flipping the switch and getting hot for the postseason…

As yearly a routine as the crops in Iowa and the rains in April, no matter what their win-loss record says at the end of October, the program from the Bronx can always be counted on to show up when the stakes are highest…

And this past Saturday afternoon, Hayes took a gigantic step in certifying themselves as authentic threats to hoist Triple-A hardware for the third time since 2016 when their 6’2, 210-pound senior iron man [Johnson] did a Superman impression one day prior to Halloween!!

Donning the invisible cape and “S” on his chest, the standout with the #20 on his back, acted as a hometown hero and/or difference-maker on both sides of the ball in the Cardinals’ 49-48 OT triumph over their rivals from Westchester, Archbishop Stepinac.

At the heart of FOUR sequences that were defining moments for Cardinal Hayes, it seemed that Johnson was always in the right place at the ideal time!

The Crusaders leading 21-13 and driving deep into Hayes’ territory late in the last 4:00 of the 1st half, it was Johnson preventing any further damage when he anticipated a pass over the middle, sprung in front of the intended target and picked if right on the goal line!!!

It was déjà vu for Johnson approximately 5:00 into the 3rd quarter (A.S. up 28-27) when he again stood in the way of the visiting team’s bid to create a cushion, as all that time spent on the tip drill paid off when a deflection landed in his arms just in front of mid-field to set C.H. up with amazing starting position…A 15-yard, undeterred run up the gut by sophomore, Kenneth Antoine, later in the series gave Hayes the edge for the first time all afternoon (34-28)…

Fast-forwarding to extra frames (scoreboard reading matching 42s), the Cardinals had control of the pigskin first and they capitalized, as Johnson put himself into the offensive mix when he was on the back end of a 9-yard TD toss over the middle from Henry Belin. 

After answering with an immediate touchdown of their own, Stepinac’s decision to be gamblers and hunt for the win (2pt conversion try) afforded Johnson to log one additional highlight…Lining up in the wildcat, the Crusader’s all-purpose offensive missile, Dae’Shawn Allen (had already scored three touchdowns), took the snap and bounced around the left side of the line where he was met/ambushed by Muhamed Boja and none other than our protagonist!

Allen ended the back-and-forth war with six total stops and multiple PDs as companions to his two invaluable interceptions!

Seeded 5th, the Cardinals will seek their vengeance in the quarterfinals when the take the pilgrimage to the South Huntington to lock horns with the #4 Friars of St. Anthony’s…When the two teams met on September 24th, STA emerged with the 48-28 win behind 581 yards of total production (316 in the air, 265 on the ground) on offense…If Johnson hopes to prolong his scholastic career, he will need to step up for a second week in a row!

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