Nov 202022
 

Two emphatic statements were made in the nightcap of our championship triple-header…..

#1 THE WAIT IS OVER…For first since 2013, the Friars of St. Anthony’s are once again the cream of the crop of the NYCHSFL Triple-A division!!!

#2 DANTE TORRES MIGHT BE SUPERHUMAN!!!

 

Amassing SEVEN total touchdowns in the 48-42 regular season victory on October 1st, the Fordham University bound senior field general almost unthinkably equaled those video game statistics, “settling” for six instead, as he passed for four and ran for an additional two scores as part of the juggernaut from South Huntington dethroning of defending Metro League and Catholic Champion, Iona Prep, by a mind-blowing margin of 50-18!!!  

Forced to punt on their initial drive of the evening, we hope that the parents of Dean Lambros managed to snap a few pictures during the, because their son was not on the field very often the rest of the way!!    

Striking for the first of his aforementioned four aerial masterpieces, on the next step following a Jaeden Jenkins interception (the first of a pair of picks for the senior DB) on the STA 15, the future Ram tossed up a 50/50 ball and allowed his dynamic 6’5 junior WR, KJ Duff to go up and get it for the 85-yarder that gave the Black & Gold the 7-0 edge with 5:14 remaining in the 1st quarter…

Torres to Duff would be a familiar expression uttered by the public address announcer, as all four of the former’s dimes found their way into the hands of the phenom in the #1 jersey, as Duff pulled off the rare feat of making one TD grab apiece in each of the four quarters to raise his season total to 12…

With the Friars leading 22-6 at the time (TD runs from distances of 4 and 76 yards by Torres with 10:37 and 6:14 remaining in the 2nd quarter respectively serving as the preceding sequences), Duff notched his second scoring snatch of the ballgame when on 4th & 20, he won a jump ball on the 1-yard line and then walked the final few inches into the end zone to further add insurance (29-6; 2:59 to go)…

The mat hatter occurred with 3:15 remaining in the 3rd quarter when he somehow was left wide open, allowing Torres to loft a beautiful 29-yarder into his arms to make the score 43-12!

Counting off each subsequent TD after he banked them, the magic #4 for Duff happened on the first play of the 4th quarter, as he caught a WR screen, shook off a defender, and then jogged across the line for the last of STA’s seven lucrative series of the evening!!!

Not to be left out of the party, senior RB, Frank Ruta, also took his turn at inflicting damage, as he tallied his 11th rushing touchdown of the season with 6:36 to go in the 3rd (36-12) when on 2nd & 14, he found a crease and jetted through it, dancing 23 yards to the house!!!  

While a 50-point outing tends to lend itself to the offensive personnel hogging the headlines, in truth, an immense amount of respect and commendation must also be extended to the Friar “D”….

Undeservedly chastised in 2021 and during the early stages of the 2022 campaign, it is no understatement to say that without the contributions they made tonight, Head Coach, Joe Minucci, would not be toasting his first career crown since being named the successor to living legend, Rich Reichert!  

Our rationale for making this claim is that if you look at the majority of the St. Anthony’s scores, more times than not, there was an instrumental defensive play that acted as a catalyst…

Above, we already referenced Jenkins’s interception that kept the contest scoreless in the 1st quarter….But also commanding our recognition though was the INT earned by wide receiver turned shutdown DB, Kenyon Miles, who on 3rd & 5 and the Gaels inside STA 18, stole the ball in the end zone….Torres’s 76-yard run came shortly after!!  

Junior, Vincent Spina, had an interception return to the IP 20 that later got cashed in on the 30-yarder to Duff…

Jenkins’s 2nd interception of the game (fourth in total for the team), on his own 17 with 7:58 to go in the 3rd was incredibly valuable as it halted a Gael march that if culminated, would have trimmed the deficit to 29-19….Instead, it denied Iona Prep and maintained a stranglehold on momentum….A 30-yard connection to Ian Strong advanced the ball inside IP territory, and then Ruta delivered the gut-punch!

All in all, the “D” generated SIX takeaways, as in addition to the four interceptions, it was fab freshman, Preston Carey, stuffing a run on 3rd & 5 to create 4th down (dropped pass) with 4:35 remaining in the 3rd, and Joseph DeChiaro doing the same on 4th & 8 with 8:26 to go in regulation that yielded turnovers on downs…

Iona Prep got on the board with 37 ticks to go in the 1st quarter when after a botched punt attempt (low snap) from STA ended with Xavier Wallace-Messam making a hit on the kicker that gave them possession on the opposing 25, Michael Senatore dove on a loose ball in the end zone after Old Dominion University committed All-State QB, Ajani Sheppard, lost control after being drilled on the goal line by Miles…

Speaking of Sheppard, playing the final game in a decorated scholastic career that witnessed him win both the NYCHSFL and NYS Offensive Player of the Year Award last season, the future Monarch notched his 10th rushing touchdowns of 2022 (scamper in the last :08 of the 4th) to go along with the 21 touchdowns he tossed during his swan song…

Freshman tailback, Brennen Pressley, accounted for the only other score of the game for the cohort from New Rochelle, as he found space up the gut from 8-yards out for a TD run in the last half minute before the break!

Your MVPs were Torres & Spina!

Undefeated this fall versus fellow Empire State opponents (only loss was to NJ powerhouse, St. Joe’s Regional), the Friars will look to double their lot next weekend as they travel to Hamburg for a date with Monsignor Martin titlist/returning state runners-up, St. Francis, on November 26th…. Having prevailed in three of the past four intra-state clashes, Metro currently enjoys a 4-3 edge over Buffalo!!!

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