Nov 092022
 

Article by Matt Diano

#1 Holy Trinity (7-1) vs. #5 Fordham Prep (4-5)

When: Saturday November 12th, 2022 @1pm

Where: Holy Trinity HS Campus (98 Cherry Ln, Hicksville, NY 11801)

Previous Meeting: 39-0 Holy Trinity on October 1st (Week #4)

 

Synopsis: Their 19-game winning streak ended the last time they stepped foot on the gridiron, the 2021 NYCHSFL AA-2 champs out of Hicksville [Holy Trinity] return to the field for the first time in two weeks following a double bye in week 8 and the quarterfinal round…

The owners of both the most prolific offense and the stoutest defense in AA-1 this fall, to many, the Titans advancement to title weekend has been viewed as something of a formality, as the program has gone the better part of the past two years untested by their peers…In fact, to put into perspective how dominant the “Green Wave” has been in recent times, it is important to note that in two outings with AAA opponents (Kellenberg Memorial & Chaminade), HT mustered a split, defeating the fifth-seeded Firebirds before narrowly dropping a hard fought contest to the #4/current Triple-A semifinalist Flyers!

Rumored to have been banged up in final appearance of the 2022 regular season, there is no understating how much of a factor a 14-day recovery period can be for a team that when healthy can rival anybody in the entire Empire State…

Anchored and/or powered by an extremely balanced and lethal offensive scheme where there has been no shortage of individuals worthy of All-Catholic, if not All-State, acclaim, when Trinity squared off against the visiting Rams during the fourth week of the fall (October 1st), they received banner efforts from both of their top-2 quarterbacks, as junior starter—Rocco Rainone, connected on 9 of 13 throws for 184 yards and a hat trick of TD tosses (all in the 1st quarter)…Senior back-up, Zion Woodhull-Trippett, thrived when he entered the game, hitting on 2 of his 4 hurls for 84 yards, highlighted by a 40-yard TD strike!!!   

On the ground, junior RB, Jameer Reeder, had a steady showing, rushing for 47 yards on 12 hand-offs; however, he was slightly overshadowed by the breakout play of sophomore teammate, Devon Gonzalez, who posted a school-best 48 yards on just six carries, including an 18-yard touchdown trek in the 4th quarter!!  

The “cheetah coalition” out wide for HT all made their presence felt versus the Fordham Prep secondary, as Josiah Brown (3 grabs for 117 yards) & Jayden Simpson (2 receptions for 58 yards) each hauled in a pair of touchdown snatches….Andre Kirton topped all Titans with 4 catches for 50 yards!!

Defensively, it was the usual suspects of Reeder (reigning AA Defensive Player of the Year), Chad Case, Christopher Bacon (forced fumble + recovery), and Zayden Michel (1 sack) doing the damage upfront, while Simpson (1 INT) handled duties in the secondary en route to securing Holy Trinity’s second shutout of the year!!

Turning our attention to the gentlemen on the other sideline, while the smart money may not be pointing in their favor as it pertains to the mythical betting line, the Rams may have something of an ace in the hole/trick up their sleeve as they embark on what they hope will be the first of two straight weekend journeys out to Nassau County…

In the aforementioned regular season meeting in early-October, FP was without the services of starting field general, Matthew Moorehead, and instead were forced to play talented WR, Tommy Gies, out of position, thus resulting in a modest 2-for-10, 16-yard outcome via the sky…With the 6-foot, 160-pound 11th grader [Moorehead] taking the snaps, this is an entirely different heard on offense, as was demonstrated during the 28-14 quarterfinal victory last week over St. Joe’s by the Sea….In that contest, Moorehead delivered a career-best three touchdown passes as part of an overall 16-for-27, 179-yard showing….

With their trained gunslinger locked and loaded in the pocket, expect for the likes of Gies (back to his comfort zone), Keegan Doody, Edward Lewis Moore, and Jericho Ancheta to also come alive and make an impact….Ancheta (4 for 48) exploded for a three TD receiving game in the quarterfinals, while Doody tied his career-high with six grabs for 62 yards in the postseason triumph against the Vikings….Senior receiver, Zaal Lam, who was not credited with a single catch during the regular season, made 3 for 25 yards last week and perhaps is someone that we need to watch moving forward!!  

Another essential adjustment that must be made in order for Fordham Prep to have a fighting chance at the upset would be for senior RB, Charlie English, to bury the skeletons of the first meeting (18 yards on 10 attempts) and instead demand of himself to be the version that has racked up four 100+ yard outings in his swan song, including a 160-yard/1TD exhibit (24 carries) in the quarterfinals!

If there was a silver lining in what on paper looked to be a one-sided battle in week #4, it would be the performances of defensive studs—William Wood (5 tackles, 1 sack), Jaziah Moore (4 stops, 1 sack), Michael Semprevivo (3 tackles, 1 sack), as well as English (2 stops, 1 INT)!….JMoore (6 tackles, .5 sack), alongside Jack Mckillop (7 tackles), Sean Rooney (6 stops), Vaughan Johnson (2 stops, .5 sacks), and JT Chmiel (1 interception) all come in fresh off of strong showings to begin the postseason!

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#2 Moore Catholic (8-2) vs. #3 St. John the Baptist (7-2)

When: Saturday November 12th, 2022 @1pm

Where: Moore Catholic HS (100 Merrill Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314)

Previous Meeting: “First Meeting of 2022”

 

Synopsis: A collision of two programs that a year ago found themselves in the unenviable position of being Metro Catholic runners-up (Moore: AA-1; Baptist: AA-2), there is unfinished business on the line for a group of very gifted seniors on the opposing sidelines…

For second-seeded Mavericks of Moore Catholic, who will enjoy the luxury of the “Red Turf” advantage (playing at home), the only missing piece to a world-class resume for senior signal caller, John Michalski, would be a team crown to complement his extraordinary individual exploits…Sensing the urgency that accompanies the notion that one’s scholastic career is approaching its twilight, the 6’2, 205-pound, dual-threat standout turned in a mind-blowing effort in his first postseason outing of 2022, as he generated 331 yards + 1 touchdown of production in MC’s 35-7 quarterfinal win over St. Francis Prep…..His legs (198 yards + 1 TD run on 18 carries) slightly more deadly than his arm (8-for-14, 133 yards) last weekend, if the Woodbridge, NJ resident has even a typical game (given his high standard), it should mean that he will reach and/or surpass the 3,000-yard of total offense milestone versus the Cougars…His numbers following the quarterfinal triumph are as follows: 1,143 in the air, 1,602 yards on land…He has also had a hand in 23 total scores (13 passing, 10 rushing)….

“Partners in crime” (they have stolen the hearts of Staten Island) during every step of his storied varsity chronicles are fellow 12th graders—Mattias Lighten, Jay’len Johnson, and Michael Zeh out wide….Lighten and Johnson were absent from the box score last week, whereas Zeh got into the mix, hauling in three passes for 51 yards….As forecasted in our postseason preview, another senior, Mario Ferraro, has continued to come on strong down the homestretch, as he followed up a 5-grab/90-yard effort in the regular season finale by tying his career-high of 5 receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown in the win over the Terriers in the quarters!

Sophomore RB, RJ Pacheco, was a 100+-yard runner for a third straight outing (sixth time this season), as he put himself on the cusp of a 1,000-yard campaign (899 heading into the semis) following a 15-attempt, 101-yard, 2TD day in the championship round of 8!

Defensively, Dowan Coachman (11 tackles), Zeh (8 stops, 1 INT), Giovanni Maniscalco (5 tackles, 1 sack), Arshad Meredith-Smith (3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), and Ferraro (2 stops, 1 pass break-up) were part of the senior leadership committee that held SFP to their lowest point total of 2022!!!….Non-seniors that also rose to the occasion in the collective smothering were Michael Herbert (6 tackles), Isaiah Vanterpool (6 stops, 1 sack), and Jon Fields (4 tackles, 2 sacks)! 

For the SJB Cougar Nation, who hope to get a second crack at Holy Trinity after leading the Titans for the majority of the 2021 AA-2 title contest (eventually lost, 21-10), the onus of getting the Red, White, & Black back to the ‘ship will fall on the shoulders of their own senior regiment, bedrocked by the likes of Elijah Alvarez, Jayson Zeva, Sean Dennehy, and Patrick Moloney!

Alvarez, who is a foundational piece on both sides of the ball, needs just 35 yards rushing this Saturday to reach 1,000 for the season…The 6’0, 177-pounder out of Patchogue amassed 135 yards and scored twice (on 12 carries) in John the Baptist’s 35-6 quarterfinal conquering of St. Peter’s….Also deserving of commendation as a complementary aspect of the ground attack was fellow 12th grader, Ethan Smith, who established a new personal-best, gaining 64 yards on just three hand-offs in the dub over the Eagles!

Zeva, who was won of three Cougar receivers to register a TD reception in the opening-round of the 2022 Catholic playoffs, finds himself give snatches short of hitting 50 for the year after hauling in 3 tosses for 70 yards…Dennehy, who has been a much more active element on “D”, earned his first touchdown grab of the fall when his lone reception was a 10-yard scoring strike…Junior, DJ Lisbon (2 receptions for 73 yards) rounded out the TD-catching trio, and joined Zeva as the only SJB student-athletes with multiple snatches to begin the playoffs…

After some debate as to whom be the primary field general, it was the man who started the year as QB1, Michael Wheat, handling the bulk of snaps, as he connected on 5-of-9 hurls for 133 yards and all three TD tosses!! Calling his own number #1 on four keepers, the Hicksville resident tacked on 54 additional yards on land to enhance his very impressive Catholic postseason debut!

Moloney (13 tackles, 1 sack) and Dennehy (9 stops, 2 TFLs) were joined by fellow senior, Nicholas Chizzoniti (8 tackles, 2 stops for negative yardage), as well as sophomore, Luke Skoda (13 stops, 1 TFL), and 11th graders— Calogero Rosado (9 tackles), Branden Raines (9 stops), Wheat (6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Joseph Chille (2 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 sacks), and Christopher King (3 stops, 1 interception) in presenting an impenetrable defensive outfit!!…The 6 points was the lowest posted by SP this season against a double-A foe!!

While several pundits reflect upon MC’s two wins over AAA members—Monsignor Farrell & Cardinal Hayes—as grounds to suggest that the upcoming semifinal will not be as close as predicted; we on the other hand concentrate on the mutual opponents—St Peter’s (41-7 vs. 44-20/35-6) & Xavier (28-17 vs. 21-7), and do not find much disparity in terms of margins of respective victory…Hence, with election day having just passed, we say, “we are not yet ready to declare this race over.”!!!

Nov 082022
 

Article by Matt Diano

#1 St. Anthony’s (8-1) vs. #4 Chaminade (5-4)

When: Saturday November 12th, 2022 @7pm—–NOTE: Date Change

Where: Cy Donnelly Field on the St. Anthony’s Campus (275 Wolf Hill Rd, Melville, NY 11747)

Previous Meeting: 35-10 St. Anthony’s on September 9th (Week #1)

 

Synopsis: After yet another absolutely explosive showing in their quarterfinal victory (57-42 over Christ the King), if you are Friars’ Head Coach, Joe Minucci, and staff, you have to be asking herself, “Can anybody stop our offense in 2022?”….Establishing a new season-best in the points’ column in the playoff triumph over the Royals, the top-seeds out of Suffolk were able to accumulate 531 yards of total production, with five different student-athletes combining to register seven touchdowns to deliver the opening-round dub…Senior, QB, Dante Torres, was darn-near perfect in the game, completing 19 of 20 attempts in the air for 369 yards and 5 TD passes; He’d also add a pair of short TD runs…As an illustration of the depth possessed by the Black & Gold at the WR position, it was Timmy Longo & Alex Menghi doing the most damage as back-end targets, as the former [Longo] set career-highs in receptions (8) and touchdown hauls (2), while the latter added had his own breakout night, re-writing his personal record book with a 5-grab, 72-yard outing….Nicholas Matos (2 receptions for 51 yards), Ian Strong (1 catch for 66 yards), and KJ Duff Jr. (1 reception for 17 yards) all registered a TD snatch….While he did not get to taste the joy of crossing the goal line, senior RB, Frank Ruta, was equally stellar, rushing for 108 yards on 14 carries to notch his second century-mark appearance of his swan song….

When the Friars and Flyers kicked off their respective falls all the way back on September 9th, the hosts from Melville/South Huntington got off to a slow start in the contest, as Torres was intercepted on his first attempt of the game and STA found themselves trailing 3-0 at the end of the initial 12 minutes….However, as soon as the sleeping giant awoke, they put on a show, scoring 28 combined points between the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and then added an insurance touchdown in the 4th!!!….Duff Jr. (7 for 209) & Jaeden Jenkins (4 for 101 yards) combined for 11 grabs for 310 yards, with each recording a pair of TD receptions to spearhead the aerial attack…After the shaky start, Torres rounded out an otherwise outstanding evening by connecting on 20-of-27 for 340 yards and 4 TD throws (he tacked on 27 yards + 1 additional score on the ground)!!

For the visiting gents clad in Crimson & Gold, their quarterfinal moment was one that you’d find in a storybook, as it was senior field general, Matthew Dieguez, finding fellow 12th grader, Patrick Bruno, on a 21-yard TD hook-up on the last play of the game (Chaminade trailed 17-13 with :09 remaining in the 4th) to pull off the dramatic, 19-17, comeback at the 11th hour over their Marianist rivals, Kellenberg Memorial…The only occasion all afternoon in which #5 and #82 connected with each other, one was all it took for victory to ensue!!!….Gavin Creo, as he has done pretty much from beginning of the year till present time, continued to be the focus of the vertical strike, as he 50% of Dieguez’s completions (10-for-14, 142 yards, 2 TDs) were put into in his possession, as he ended the affair with 5 grabs for 79 yards, including a 20-yard TD reception that tied the showdown at 10-10 in the 3rd quarter…Junior running back, John Tully, had a solid day on the ground, notching his third 100+-yard outing behind a 19 carry/107-yard display!!!….Benjamin Mann (11 stops. 3 TFLs, 2 sacks), Matthew Rappa (10 tackles, 1 TFL), Luke Ventura (6 stops. 2 TFLs, 1 sack), and Dean Aquilina (5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack) all did a masterful job of invading the opposing backfield and making plays that put the Firebirds’ talent-rich offense in tough spots!!!

As they turn their attention to trying to punch their ticket to the AAA finals for the first time since going there back-to-back years in 2012/2013 (split the two title games with St. Anthony’s), the word of the day for the Mineola-based cohort must be “FINISH”…There were multiple occasions in which the Flyers looked to be in a prime position to score on the Friars in the first meeting; but they simply did not execute inside the red zone.  They will not have the luxury of allowing history to repeat itself….Dieguez (4-for-13. 55 yards), Creo (0 credited receptions) have to put the “O” on their backs and set the tone by playing pitch-and-catch early and often to generate momentum from which the rest of the team can feed…The good news is that as someone who has watched every game of his two-year career, I can testify to the fact that the Dieguez that is stepping on the field this Friday is a much different leader than the one we saw two months ago.  He has grown in confidence and is much more poised and decisive…He has at least one TD pass in 5 of his last 6 appearances (3 of 6 being multiples)…Tully (93 yards on 18 hand-offs) was a bright spot in his varsity debut in early-September and will definitely need to be as good in the semifinals in order to provide balance….Defensively, the men of the hour are going to be the secondary comprised of Bryan Freel (4 tackles, 1 INT), John Marshall (4 stops), Nick Marino (4 tackles), and Michael Maggio, who imperatively need to slow down the murderer’s row of WRs boasted by the Friars…Front-7 members—Charlie Battaglia (17 stops. 2 TFLs), Rappa (12 tackles, 1 TFL), Ventura (9 stops, 1 TFL), Claudio Pinto (9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack), Seamus Miller (8 tackles), and Mann (7 stops) all did their jobs on September 9th; if they can further elevate, it will go a long way towards taking some of the heat off of their allies in the “no fly zone”.! 

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#2 Iona Prep (8-2) vs. #3 Archbishop Stepinac (8-2)

When: Saturday November 12th, 2022 @1pm

Where: Wellington T. Mara Field on Iona Prep Campus (255 Wilmot Rd, New Rochelle, NY 10804)

Previous Meeting: 42-35 Iona Prep on October 8th (Week #5)

 

Synopsis: A game of streaks where the two teams took turns piling up points, the defending Metro Catholic League and State Champions out of New Rochelle [Iona Prep] came out of the gate on fire, building a 28-7 advantage at the half before the visiting Crusaders stormed back in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 28-21…Both perennial powerhouses then took turns striking twice during the final 12 minutes to account for the final tally!!!

A week #5 matinee where offense undoubtedly ruled the roost, in addition to the 77 combined points, the two programs collected 1,041 yards of production (with the Gaels responsible for 583)!!!

A day where stars had a stage in which to perform, for IP, there was no bigger showstopper than reigning Catholic AAA/NYS Offensive Player of the Year, Ajani Sheppard, who had a hand in manufacturing 442 yards, completing 13 of his 28 pass attempts for 250 yards/3 TD throws, while also running for a career-best 192 yards on 17 keepers!…The Old Dominion University committed field general was sharp again in the quarterfinal round, hitting on 9-of-15 for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 56-13 win over #7 Cardinal Hayes…

Senior TB, Colin O’Garro, who continues to see the NCAA offers roll in (Bucknell recently reached out), was the ideal complementary piece, on the ground, gaining 139 yards and scoring twice on 22 carries versus the Crusaders…In his first appearance of the 2022 postseason, the 6’1, 210-pound hometown kid [resident of NR) notched his seventh 100-yard outing of his senior campaign, running for 128 yards and two scores on just 8 attempts (tacked on a 54-yard TD reception to boot against the Cardinals)….

 O’Garro, who is a capable receiver out of the backfield, also emerged with a personal-best of 108 receiving yards, as he was one of FOUR different Gaels that hauled in at least three receptions in the victory over Stepinac….Joining him on the stat sheet were Michael Senatore (3 for 53), Ethan Acevedo (3 for 47), and Isaiah Bennett (3 for 36)…Acevedo (2) and Senatore (1) were on the receiving end of TD hurls from Sheppard!….Bennett (3 receptions for 67 yards) led all IP personnel in total catches in the quarterfinal victory; Junior, Jared Evans, followed up a 6-grab/120-yard effort in the regular season finale vs. Chaminade by hauling in 2 passes for 77 against Hayes!!!

Junior OLB, Declan McCauley, transformed “D” into “O” in the championship round of 8, as he posted a 14-yard pick-6 as part of the triumph over C.H. last weekend! 

As it pertains to Head Coach, Michael O’Donnell’s Red, White, & Blue machine [Stepinac], a big key will be the ability to get off to a better start!!!  If their games this season with IP, Kellenberg, and St. Anthony’s taught us anything, it is that the Crusaders are a 2nd half team that are at their best after they have the chance to make halftime adjustments…If they can just keep the scoreboard close during the first 24 minutes, we feel that the opportunity is going to be present to steal the “w” in the 4th quarter!!

In round of #1 of the saga against the defending champs, it was junior signal caller, Will Currid, emerging with the finest performance of his scholastic career, as he gun-slung his way to a 483 yard/5 touchdown afternoon by connecting on 33 of 48 attempts in the sky!….Extending his run to 10 straight (every outing this season) 200+ yard exhibitions in A.S.’s 35-0 quarterfinal conquest of #6 Monsignor Farrell, Currid surpassed 3,000 yards for the fall when he connected on 15 of 24 for 231 yards and three touchdowns!

Held to just 8 combined yards on land by the Gael defense during the regular season, the junior duo of Jordan Osbourne (3 yards on 1 attempt) and Lorenzo Robinson (5 yards on 3 carries) cannot allow themselves to be invisible this coming Saturday….They don’t need to take over the game and be the catalysts; but they do need to be impactful enough to keep Iona Prep guessing….With the exception of a 67-yard halfback TD pass, Osbourne was quiet again in the quarterfinal win over the Lions; Robinson on the other hand had the most of his handful of carries, averaging 7/per to end the day with 42 yards (1 TD) on six attempts!!

The four-headed monster receiving corps consisting of Gjok Dedvukaj (12 receptions for 127 yards), Jahi Gary (8 grabs for 186 yards, 3 TD catches), Bodhi Ogg (7 receptions for 90 yards + 1 TD grab), and Serge Lagardere (5 catches for 67 yards, 1 TD) all showed up during week #5 and hopefully can be just as dynamic during the rematch…Dedvukaj and Ogg were favorite targets during last weekend’s quarterfinals, with the former making five grabs for 101 yards (1 TD), while two of Ogg’s four total hauls resulted in touchdowns!!!

As they have been counted on to do all season, it was the respective shutdown exploits of JT Krivinskas (10 stops, 2 TFLs), Eddie Palumbo (8 tackles, 1 INT), Isaiah Darby (7 stops, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 2 QB hurries), Wayne Coleman (7 tackles, 1 sack, 2 hurries), and Samuel Madu (5 tackles, 5 pass break-ups) among others that facilitated the second goose-egg of the year for the Stepinac defense…

Nov 032022
 

Article by Matt Diano

 

#2 Moore Catholic (7-2) vs. #7 St. Francis Prep (3-5)

When: Sunday November 6th, 2022 @1pm

Where: Moore Catholic HS (100 Merrill Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314)

Previous Meeting: 32-10 Moore Catholic on October 22nd (Week #7)

 

Synopsis:   A rematch of a contest that we saw quite recently (week #7), when the Mavs and Terriers last went to battle, it was the returning AA-1 runners-up out of Staten Island chewing up major territory in all aspects of the game, as they totaled 553 yards (365 on the ground) of total offense and scored on five occasions (4 on the ground) to cruise to the victory…. 

Pivotal to this explosion of offensive firepower were All-State QB, John Michalski (11-for-13 in the air for 178 yards 1 TD toss; 13 carries for 156 yards with his legs), and sophomore tailback, RJ Pacheco, who accounted for ¾ of MC’s rushing TDs, carrying the ball 13 times for a net gain of 172 yards….Dowan Coachman (3 hand-offs for 37 yards, 1 TD), was responsible the other ground score!!

For the year, Michalski provided further evidence as to why he will be playing at the next level (committed to Sacred Heart University), as he has generated 2,414 yards (1,469 in the air; 945 on land) and 22 touchdowns (13 passing, 9 rushing) in his swan song campaign…

With a deep run into the playoffs (as is expected), Pacheco is considered a lock to reach the 1,000-yard milestone in 2022, as he enters this weekend with a stat line of the following: 102 carries for 798 yards, 5 touchdowns)  

Because the land attack was so effective in the first meeting, the air raid was not incorporated as much as usual into the gameplan…But should Michalski need to morph into a gunslinger, he certainly is never going to be short on potential and/or lethal targets…Top-receiver, Matthias Lighten (34 grabs for 524 yards, 7 TD hauls), M.I.A., it was the likes of Michael Zeh (13 grabs for 312 yards, 2 receiving TDs) and Mario Ferraro (12 receptions for 233 yards, 1 TD) each registering multi-snatch performances to combine for 7 of the 11 connections….Jay’len Johnson (13 catches for 296 yards, 3 touchdowns) scored on a 20-yard grab for his lone reception of the day!!!

Zeh (58 tackles, 6 interceptions, 6 PDs), Coachman (89 stops, 1.5 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries), as well as Omar Mendez (4 stops, 3 sacks) & James Mattera (17 tackles, 1 INT) were the catalysts on defense, with Zeh credited for 7 stops/1 INT, Coachman posting a team-high 9 tackles + 1 sack, Mendez emerging with a pair of QB bags, and Mattera picking off his only throw of the year!!

Despite being held to just 10 points, there were plenty of positives to build off of if you are St. Francis Prep….

Utilizing a backfield by committee approach, the Terriers were able to average just under 5.0/per carry, as they amassed 157 yards on 32 attempts….Seniors—Dionis Best (559 yards + 6 touchdowns on 50 tries), Isaiah DeCruz (717 yards + 7 touchdowns passing; 295 yards and three additional scores on the ground), and Anthony Collura (202 yards +2 TD runs on 48 hand-offs) were at the top of the totem pole with respective outings of 45 (10 carries), 35 (6 carries), and 33 (6 tries) yards!….DeCruz rounded out his solid day in the loss by also hitting on 7 of 16 throws for 116 yards and 1 TD!

Sebastian Quartarolo (15 grabs for 355 yards, 6 touchdown receptions) and Tristan Hilman (5 snatches for 45 yards) both recorded multi-catch displays, with the former pulling in 3 for 55 yards (1 TD), while the latter made two grabs for 33 yards!)

12th grade kicker, Nicholas Pandis, drilled a 34-yarder on his own FG attempt!

Brian Daly (57 stops, 20 TFLs, 5 sacks) and Sharrieff Memminger (36 tackles, 1 pick) were exceptional on “D”, as three of Daly’s 9 total stops resulted in a loss of yardage; Memminger, who also contributed six tackles of his own, had an interception! 

It is worth noting that Moore Catholic earned wins this season over a pair of AAA opponents (Monsignor Farrell & Cardinal Hayes)…Hence, even if SFP plays their best game of the year, the deck might be a little too stacked against them!!!  However, using that “Little Giants” manta of “One-Time”, we wish them the best of fortune!

 

#3 St. John the Baptist  (6-2) vs. #6 St. Peter’s (3-6)

When: Sunday November 6th, 2022 @1pm

Where: St. John the Baptist HS Campus (1170 Montauk Hwy, West Islip, NY 11795)

Previous Meeting: 44-20 SJB on September 24th (Week #3)

 

Synopsis: A game that was quite competitive at the midway point (SJB lead 30-20 at the half) of their week #3 match-up, the Cougars blew it open with a pair of 3rd quarter touchdowns!!!

Interestingly though for SJB, the star of stars in that previous triumph over the Eagles, QB Michael Wheat (688 yards passing, 8 TD passes; 358 yards rushing + 3 additional scores) has not been the one taking the snaps down the stretch….So, despite hurling for 183 yards (8-of-12) and three touchdowns and adding 120 yards (1 more TD) with his legs, in the first meeting, don’t be surprised if Wheat is #2 on the depth chart behind fellow junior, Kevin Pilewski, who came on strong in his two starts in weeks 6 & 7, completing 22 of 32 throw attempts for 430 yards and 4 touchdowns….

Two people that you know are going to be out there on pretty much ever down are the senior RB/WR duo of Elijah Alvarez (830 yards + 13 touchdowns on 87 attempts) and Jayson Zeva (42 receptions for 652 yards, 9 touchdown grabs)…Both invaluable members of a John the Baptist scheme that has generated an average of nearly 30 points per appearance, they both absolutely made their presence known on September 24th, with Alvarez just missing the century-mark (97 yards + 2 touchdowns on 8 carries), while Zeva had a career-day, catching all three of Wheat’s TD tosses as part of a greater comprehensive demonstration that witnessed him haul in six balls for 154 yards!!!

Defensively, Luka Skoda (43 stops, 5 TFLs, 1 sack), Sean Dennehy (46 tackles, 7 stops for negative yardage, 2 sacks), and Branden Raines (24 stops) all logged double-digit stop efforts, with Skoda’s 12 topping the list!!

For STP, Senior RB, Jordan Williams (2 rushing touchdowns), and 12th grade slot-receiver, Kevin Reilly (1 TD catch) provided the spark that enabled the Eagles to hang with Baptist for the opening 24 minutes…

 Per a postgame interview with SiLive, St. Peter’s coach, Mark DeCristoforo, expressed the sentiments that he liked the way his offense was able to control time of possession…However, the Achilles Heel was the inability of the defense to get off the field on 3rd down!!!! If they correct this issue on Sunday, they just might be able to enact some revenge….

Highlighted by a AA-2 runner-up finish last season, St. John the Baptist, is seeking to advance to the NYCHSFL semifinals for a third straight occasion!

 

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#4 St. Joe’s by the Sea (4-4) vs. #5 Fordham Prep (3-5)

When: Saturday November 5th, 2022 @5pm

Where: Joe Ryan Memorial Field on SJS Campus (5150 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10312)

Previous Meeting: “First Meeting of 2022”

 

Synopsis: An engagement of two extremely battle-tested squads, when you consider the Vikings and the Rams, you almost have to throw their 2022 records out the window since 5 of the 9 combined losses to NYS Catholic opponents came at the hands of programs that participate in the triple-A division…

For the Rams, the combination of youth and experience has served them well, as freshman sensation, Johnathan Bailey, stepped in to replace junior, Matthew Moorehead (79-for-136, 940 yards, 7 TD passes), under center, and is riding the wave of momentum that accompanies his first career varsity win (9-of-13, 117 yards in a week #7 victory over St. Peter’s)….While we are not sure of Moorehead’s status for the postseason (he did appear in the St. Peter’s game), the visiting Rams should feel comfortable regardless of which individual is taking the snaps!!

One primary reason why the vertical attack is sure to be prominent no matter who is the one distributing the rock is that FP is blessed to feature a senior receiving corps that goes FOUR DEEP, led by Edward Lewis Moore (25 grabs for 353 yards, 4 TD snatches) and Tommy Gies (25 catches for 318 yards, 2 touchdown receptions)…. Keegan Doody (23 grabs for 306 yards) & Jericho Ancheta (14 catches for 110 yards) are not to be ignored either!!! 

12th grade work horse/Bell Cow out of the backfield, Charlie English (619 yards + 10 touchdown runs on 116 tries) Is a great equalizer and happens to be fresh off of the finest outing of his scholastic career (137 yards + 3 touchdowns in the win over STP during week #7)!  

The backbone on “D” for the Rams have been comprised of Vaughan Johnson (48 tackles, 4 sacks), James Rice (40 stops, 3 sacks), Liam Conlon (36 tackles, 3.5 sack, 1 INT), Jaziah Moore (35 stops, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles), Khaleel Adegoke (33 tackles, 0.5 sack, 1 pick), Will Wood (25 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 interception), Michael Semprevivo (25 stops, 3.5 sacks), and English (36 tackles, 1 INT)!

Victors in three of their first four games of the fall, the host Vikings will lean heavily on Senior field general, Matthew Wissman, sophomore RBs, Nicholas Moukazis & Thomas Digregorio, and 12th grade WR, Andrew DeAngelis to get them back to their winning ways…

Jack Moran, Tyler Murphy, and Jake Palmer make up a senior LB corps that will be tasked with getting down-hill and containing the FP ground attack…

Junior DB, Angelo Pecora, has multiple interceptions in 2022 and will one to watch in SJS’s intended “no fly zone”!

 

Note: Top-seeded Holy Trinity received a bye into next weekend’s semifinals…They will meet the winner of Joe’s by the Sea/Fordham Prep!

Nov 032022
 

Article by Matt Diano

#1 St. Anthony’s (7-1) vs. #8 Christ the King (1-8)

When: Friday November 4th, 2022 @7pm

Where: Cy Donnelly Field on St. Anthony’s Campus (275 Wolf Hill Rd, Melville, NY 11747)

Previous Meeting: 44-12 St. Anthony’s on October 21st (Week #7)

 

Synopsis: Looking to return to the title game for the first time since 2017 and win the school’s first crown since 2013, the first step in the journey for the top-seeded Friars will be a date with a Royals’ squad that handled convincingly when Long Island battled Queens in week #7!!!! 

Undefeated this season against fellow Empire State competition (lone loss was to NJ powerhouse, St. Joe’s Regional-Montvale), the Joe Minucci mentored cohort has been explosive on offense from beginning to end thus far this fall, as they enter the home confines of Donnelly Field on Friday averaging 38.5 points per game!!!  

When these two teams squared off not too long ago, STA was able to pick their poison in terms of how they chose to score, as a balanced arsenal of both air and ground strikes yielded them 408 yards and six cumulative touchdowns….

Senior field general, Dante Torres, was his usual dominant self, as he completed 13 of 23 pass attempts for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns hurls…He’ll step on the field under the Friday Night lights having tossed for at least 200+ yards in five of 8 outings, with 2 or more TD throws in 6 of 8!….

On the back end of the bullets being fired by Torres was the likes of Tim Longo (2 grabs for 27 yards, 1 TD), Ian Strong (a 62-yard touchdown grab), Kenyon Miles (2 catches for 36 yards), and Alex Menghi, who delivered a 3-grab, 63-yard evening to top both categories….A scary thought for the CTK second is that STA’s #1 overall weapon in the vertical game, KJ Duff Jr. (27 receptions for 619 yards, 6 touchdowns) was absent!

On land, it was both parts of the two-headed senior monster out of the backfield—Darius Morant & Frank Ruta—recording two touchdowns apiece…The former carried the ball on 21 occasions for 107 yards; while the latter got into the mix behind a 4 hand-off, 82-yard effort!  

Defensively, it was Evan Macaluso, [Ian] Strong, and Jaeden Jenkins all intercepting one pass each, while Joseph Dechiaro (forced the fumble) and Dante Vardaro (recovered it) combined to induce another turnover…Glenn Platania (7 tackles), Preston Carey (7 stops), Vincent Spina (7 tackles), and Tyler Dunne (4 stops,  1 sack) were also part of the strong unified effort that limited Christ the King to just 238 yards!

Flipping pages to Christ the King, it is essential to realize that despite their modest outcomes, this is not a team devoid of God-given talent….

If junior QB, Jeremy Alexandre (852 yards and 11 TD passes in 2022), can trim the turnovers and establish a comfort zone in the pocket, there is every reason to believe that the Royals can find success in the air…

Top-2 receivers—Na’eem Gladding (33 grabs for 743 yards, 6 TD hauls) & Jourdin Houston (22 catches for 497 yards, 7 touchdowns) were held to one reception each during the regular season meeting…So if they can assert themselves to a higher degree, it could go a long way towards giving the Royals a fighting chance…Gabriel Reynoso could be a wildcard.  The 11th grader had his only documented grab of the year for an 84-yard touchdown in the loss to St. Anthony’s!

CTK’s #1 RB, Malichi Greaves (366 yards on 46 attempts) will need to find his groove in the rematch after being bottled up to the tune of a 27-yard outing in week #7….

On Defense, much will be asked of Greaves (6 tackles, 2 TFLs), Houston (4 stops, 3 TFLs), as well as Arinze Maijeh (3 TFLs, 1 QB hurry), Tyriq Blanding (2 TFLs), Seven Wright (3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QB hurry), and Karyll Rony-Dorceus (4 tackles, 2 PDs) who were all bright spots despite the defeat!

 

 

#2 Iona Prep (7-2) vs. #7 Cardinal Hayes (1-7)

When: Saturday November 5th, 2022 @3pm

Where: Wellington T. Mara Field on Iona Prep Campus (255 Wilmot Rd, New Rochelle, NY 10804

Previous Meeting: 27-0 Iona Prep on September 10th (Week #1)

 

Synopsis: A clash of our last two NYCHSFL triple-A titlists (Hayes in ‘19, Iona Prep last year), when the Gaels and Cards banged heads all the way back in week #1, the defending League and Catholic Champs from New Rochelle emerged controlled the game to the tune of the 27-0 goose-egging!!

The most prolific offense in AAA this season (edged out STA by a slight margin of 38.7 to 38.5), when the Maroon & Gold juggernaut went to work at the onset of the year, it was senior RB, Colin O’Garro, leading the charge versus Hayes, as he ran for a career-best three touchdowns (not to mention 172 yards) on 19 carries to account for 3/4s of the IP output!!…The massive display by the gentleman in the #5 jersey set the tone for the caliber of swan song he produced as he enters this postseason with a stat line of the following: 1,046 yards +13 touchdowns on 110 tries (9.5/per carry)…He is riding a streak of four consecutive century-mark-plus performances and is showing no signs of slowing down as his scholastic career rapidly approaches its sunset!!

Reigning Metro Catholic and New York State Offensive Player of the Year, Ajani Sheppard, was asked to do very little in week #1, as he tossed for a season-low of 101 yards (1 TD) on 10-of-20….However, as circumstance dictates, it need not be said that the 1st-team All-Stater committed to Old Dominion is able to flip a switch at any moment and deliver a mind-blowing showing in all regards….On track to boast yet another 2,000/1,000 season, the future Monarch has amassed 2,736 yards of total offense (1,837 in the air; 899 on the ground), while having a hand in 24 touchdowns (18 throwing; 6 rushing)…

If the aerial game does get deployed, the two names to pay attention to will be the 12th grade WR tandem of Ethan Acevedo (25 catches for 406 yards, 6 TDs) & Michael Senatore (19 receptions for 379 yards, 4 touchdowns)…Both notched multiple-catch outings (combined 5 grabs for 88 yards) on September 10th, with Senatore snatching the only TD ball of the day!….Sophomore, Steven Dowdy Jr., is fresh off of a career-day in the regular season finale vs. Chaminade; the 5’10, 175-pound, Bronx native made six catches for 101 yards and 1 TD.  He has been on fire of late, posting three 100-yard receiving appearances in a row for the Gaels!

Led by their bedrock All-State captain, Zyian Moultrie-Goddard (2021 NYCHSFL AAA Defensive Player of the Year), and featuring Kieran Connolly, Jaylin Hicks, Capri Martin, Adande Nartey, Jaden Codrington, and Terrance Walden among others, the IP defense was go hunting for more zeros in their opening-round contest! 

On the flip side, for Head Coach CJ O’Neil’s team to have a chance, it is imperative that sophomore QB, Rich Belin, junior RB, Kenneth Antoine, and senior wide-out, Taifah Mason all rise to the challenge and put the Cardinals on their proverbial backs!

Belin, the younger brother of former Hayes’ All-State signal caller, Henry (now playing collegiately at Duke), skill set is not to be questioned.   After all, he is already holding NCAA DI scholarship offers despite still honing his craft….For C.H. to hang in till the end, he will need to improve upon the 6-for-15, 62-yard effort he had in week #1…

Antoine, who has multiple 100-yard running games in his last year as a high school student-athlete, was limited to just 21 yards on 14 carries during the first meeting!

Mason’s 4 receptions for 50 yards was the highlight for the Cardinals in the previous loss; if he can further elevate, then that will be a tremendous aid to his young quarterback who will be looking to him as the primary target!

Holding IP to their second lowest scoring total of the fall, Abdoul Bah (11 stops), Ray Boyd (11 tackles), Giovanni Downer (9 stops), Teddy Ethan Holland (6 tackles, 1 sack), Kahmari Valentine (5 stops, 1 sack), and Brock Belin (5 tackles) all did their jobs on “D” at the start of 2022 and will need to be just as forceful now that postseason has rolled around!    

 

#3 Archbishop Stepinac (7-2) vs. #6 Monsignor Farrell (3-6)

When: Saturday November 5th, 2022 @6pm

Where: Archbishop Stepinac HS Campus (950 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605)

Previous Meeting: 45-11 Stepinac on September 10th (Week #1)

 

Synopsis: A rematch of a 2021 Triple-A NYCHSFL semifinals where the Lions [Farrell], despite being the #2 seed on paper, pulled off what many called the upset of the season when they punched their ticket to the ship, 24-21!

If first-year Hea Coach, Rocco Del Priore, hopes to pull that “rabbit out of the hat for a second straight postseason occasion, it will imperative that the defense plays shutdown ball in the secondary, as they did a year ago when they picked off the Crusaders twice….The individuals responsible for those turnover-generating plays are both back, as    Nicholas Souffrin (27 stops, 5 PDs) & John Caufield (78 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INTs, 7 pass break-ups) will anchor a last line of defense that struggled during the regular season match-up on September 10th, allowing Stepinac [Will Currid] to connect on 20-of-34 attempts in the air for 280 yards and a trifecta of TD strikes….If history repeats itself, it could be a long evening for the road warriors from Staten Island!!

Unfortunately, another “elephant in the room” and/or game-altering difference between 2021 and 2022 has been the absence of All-State TB, Messiah Burch, who torched A.S. in the championship round of 4, busting out for 193 yards and a pair of scores to propel the offense….A home run hitter any and every time pigskin is in his hands, his loss to a season-ending injury has forced the likes of Caufield (697 yards, 10 rushing touchdowns on 100 carries) and Mauricio Cetina (376 yards and 3 TDs on 49 carries) to elevate their games….Cetina was a bright spot in the week #1 loss, as he gained 80 yards and scored a touchdown on 12 tries…Caufield will need to be more impactful than the 25 yards he accumulated on 7 hand-offs…

Don’t be surprised if Junior QB, Cristian Pinto (61.2% completion percentage; 1,435 yards, 9 TD tosses) sees his activity increased following a 5-for-11, 55 yard appearance during the regular season….Pinto has hurled for 200+ yards three times this season, so if he gets into a groove, he is more than capable of putting forth a banner effort!!!….Justin Guzman (19 receptions for 175 yards, 2 TD hauls in 2022) for the favorite weapon in week #1, as he grabbed 3 out of the 5 completions in the loss….But the program’s top-2 statistical leaders—Shawn Keegan (39 catches for 510 yards, 3 TDs) and Souffrin (36 for 666, 4 scores) need to be at their best as well!!!

On the other sideline, if you are long-time Stepinac Head Coach, Mike O’Donnell, your message to your cohort is something as simple as, “just do what you did initially”!!!!

Emerging with perhaps their most balanced attack of the season, complementing the aforementioned 280 yards in the air chucked by Currid, was a season-best 223 yards and two touchdowns on the ground…Championed by the junior duo of Jordan Osbourne (494 yards/7 TDs rushing on 56 carries) & Lorenzo Robinson (432 yards +7 scores on 56 tries), the former just missed hitting the century mark (95 on 10  carries), while the latter [Robinson] netted 56 yards on 6 hand-offs.  Each scored one TD apiece….Serge Lagardere, who is among the Crusader’s top-2 receivers, flashed some brilliance in jet sweet scenarios, as he tacked on 60 yards on 5 tries!!

Speaking of Lagardere (41 receptions for 672 yards, 4 touchdowns), he was one of three individuals that caught a TD pass in week #1….Joining him were Gjok Dedvukaj (57 grabs for 881 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Bodhi Ogg (36 snatches for 412 yards, 3 touchdown grabs) who contributed stat line of 7 for 85 and 3 for 51 respectively….The big man, Jahi Gary (28 receptions for 461 yards, team-high 6 TD snatches) were relatively quiet in the first meeting, making just one grab for 20 yards.  But he can go off at any minute and transform the game with his 6’5/match-up nightmare frame!

Defensively, the usual suspects—-JT Krivinskas (112 total stops, 8 TFLs,4 sacks3 caused fumbles), Eddie Palumbo (77 tackles, 4 stops for negative yardage, 2 sacks, 3 QB hurries, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles), Giuseppe Pennolino (72 stops, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks, 3 QB hurries, 1 pick, 2 caused fumbles), Isaiah Darby (39 tackles, 4 TFLs, 3 sacks, 5 hurries, Wayne Coleman (67 stops, 9 TFLs, 7 sacks, 14 QB hurries), Jack Donahoe (51 tackles, 11 PDs), and Jandiel Jimenez (50 stops, 4 TFLs, 3 sacks, 8 hurries, 5 fumble recoveries & 3 forced fumbles) were all lights out in limiting the opposing Lions to a season-low 192 yards of total offense….

 

#4 Chaminade (4-4) vs. #5 Kellenberg Memorial (6-3)

When: Saturday November 5th, 2022 @1:30pm

Where: Gold Star Stadium on the Campus of Chaminade HS (340 Jackson Ave, Mineola, NY 11501)

Previous Meeting: “First Meeting of 2022”

 

Synopsis: Thank you football Gods!!!  When the 2022 scheduled was released and missing was the annual Marianist Bowl between sister schools—Chaminade and Kellenberg Memorial, there simply felt like a void existed in the world!!!

However, the powers-that-be from up above heard our cries and have delivered unto us a playoff clash that is sure to be worth the wait….

A rivalry that has gone back-and-forth over the course of the past 4-5 years, the visiting Firebirds won regular season match-ups in 2018 (42-14) and 2021 (35-8), while the host Flyers swept a pair of meetings in 2019, including a 29-12 triumph in that year’s AA-1 title contest!!!

A true test of wills, in many ways, November 5th at Gold Star Stadium with be a collision of KMHS’s skill on both sides of the ball vs. The toughness/grit/hunger possessed by the host Crimson & Gold [Chaminade] on both sides of the line of scrimmage….

As was demonstrated by Holy Trinity when they defeated the Firebirds’ in week #5, the path to victory for Coach Kevin Dolan’s Flyers is to out-work their foes in the trenches and make it a 48-minute dogfight!!

Because the Chaminade offense has been a little erratic at times during the year, a low-scoring affair is their recipe to success; and God knows they certainly have the personnel on “D” to stifle a very talented Blue & Gold attack….

Simply put—-the front-7 core comprised of Matthew Rappa (64 tackles, 7 TFLs, 1 INT), Charlie Battaglia (62 stops, 10 TFLs, 1 sack, 2 picks), Benjamin Mann (52 tackles, 7 hits for a loss of yardage, 4 sacks), Seamus Miller (45 stops, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 fumble recoveries), Luke Ventura (40 tackles, 6 TFLs, 1 sack), Claudio Pinto (34 stops, 3TFLs, 3 sacks), and Dean Aquilina (33 stops, 12 TFLs, 2 sacks) will need to make it their collective mission to torment and/or terrorize opposing All-League/Dual-threat QB, Devin Page (1,710 yards +11 touchdowns with his arm; 775 yard and 9 TDs with his legs)!!!

And if/when the ball does get put up in the air, bone-crushing DB, Bryan Freel (45 tackles, 2 interceptions) will need to do his best to negate KMHS top receiver, Sean Cannon (51 grabs for 700 yards, 4 touchdown receptions)….

Offensively, an OL lead by senior, Mason Dietrich, will be summoned to serve as road graders for junior RB, Jack Tully, who despite missing a game, still ran for 650 yards and 5 scores this season….

Senior field general/future Fordham Ram (baseball), Matthew Dieguez (1, 043 yards and 11 touchdowns throwing) has shown some absolute flashes of brilliance this season (Ex- 271 yard/6 TD pass showing in a win over Cardinal Hayes)….So while he enters with less fanfare than his counterpart [Page], he is still plenty capable of moving the chains!…..Fellow senior, Gavin Creo (37 receptions for 437 yards, 7 TD snatches) has been the focal point of the air raid this season….Patrick Bruno (8 grabs for 127 yards; game-winning TD catch vs. HT) has come on strong down the homestretch and will provide a deep-ball threat!!!

For Coach Eric Meisse’s flock, Page and Cannon are hardly the only potential difference-makers on “O”, as Matthew Watterson (32 catches for 454 yards, 2TDs), Charles McQuade (17 grabs for 106 yards), Peter Sluka (12 snatches for 130 yards, 1 TD grab), and Claude-Albert Makelele (7 receptions for 227 yards, 2TDs) further bolster the vertical onslaught….

In his first season as the primary backfield option, Ethan Cumming, has been extremely steady, running for 50 or more yards in six outings and finding the promised land in five games this fall….His stat line of 590 yards/7 touchdowns is enough to keep the Flyer “D” honest and prevent from cheating on Page!!

And speaking of prevention, it has been the double-duty of individuals such as Cannon (74 tackles, 6 interceptions, 6 PDs), Watterson (63 stops, 3 sacks), 1 INT, 5 pass break-ups), McQuade (37 tackles, 7 PDs), and Makelele (22 stops, 10 pass defenses),  coupled with teammates—Jack Ligarzewski (67 tackles, 2 sacks), Christopher Moore (52 stops), two-way lineman, Dylan Page (28 stops, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble), Patrick Conroy (16 tackles, 1 INT)—that has fostered a defensive culture that has seen Kellenberg hold their nemesis to under 20 points in five of 9 appearances in 2022! 

Nov 012022
 

Article by Matt Diano

#3 Xaverian (4-3) vs. #6 Cardinal Spellman (1-7)

When: Saturday November 5th, 2022 @3pm

Where: Aviator Sports Complex (3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11234)

Previous Meeting: 37-0 Xaverian on October 28th (Week #8)

 

Synopsis: A once very proud rivalry that saw the Clippers and Cardinals square off twice in a span of four years (2015, 2017) for the “A” crown, recent times have been marked by a competitive separation of the two programs, as Xaverian has now shut out their foes from the Bronx on the last three occasions, including a 37-0 victory last Friday night in the 2022 regular season finale (previously 13-0 in 2021; 34-0 in 2020)….

After finding success utilizing a predominant ground-heavy attack that yielded all four of the school’s offensive touchdowns in week #8, expect for Head Coach, Kevin Fountaine, to stick with a winning formula, as senior QB, Bobby Benoit, called on his own number on two TD keepers, while Michael Kenny (from short distance) & Antonio Hernandez (45-yards) each found the promised land one time apiece… 

While not a featured aspect of the game-plan last week, should it become necessary to turn to the aerial strike, both Dylan Markle and Spiros Drossos concluded the night with multiple grabs…

Defensively, the signature play was credited to 11th grade LB, Timothy Hayes, who undercut a route for the interception and then marched 40-yards to paydirt for a pick-6 that made the score 31-0!

Senior placekicker, Leif Bostwick-Riddell, emerged with a perfect day with his boot, converting all four of his PAT attempts and adding a 31-yard FG early in the contest to round a 7pt individual evening!!

For Spellman, given the nature of the prior battle, the odds are certainly not in their favor…But alas, if they can manage to play turnover free ball this weekend, we think they can make a run at the upset…After all, with the exception of the Hernandez trek, their defense did a solid job of containing the run…What really did them in was self-inflicted wounds on special teams (fumbled the opening kick-off; botched snap on a punt) and offense (aforementioned INT TD return) that quasi gift-wrapped 21 of the 37 points for the host Clippers!

Xaverian is a clear favorite; but if both squads execute to the fullest of their potential, the outcome ought to be closer than what the scoreboard indicated previously!

 

 

#4 Kennedy Catholic (2-6) vs. #5 Holy Cross (3-6)

When: Friday November 4th, 2022 @7pm

Where: Kennedy Catholic Prep Campus (54 NY-138, Somers, NY 10589)

Previous Meeting: “First Meeting of 2022”

 

Synopsis: Not only the first time that these programs will be meeting this season, but more astonishingly, the first and only match-up of the Gaels and Knights since the former [Kennedy Catholic] joined the NYCHSFL in 2013, the victor will be determined by which sideline is better able to get their superstars off to a quicker start…

For Coach Dominick Tassone’s host Gaels, you need look no further than senior Swiss  Army knife, Anthony Castaldi, who has ranks in the top-3 on the team in terms of yardage accumulate as a passer (482; 1st), rusher (416; 2nd), and receiver (201; 3rd)…No matter where they line-up #7 on offense, he finds a way to make things happen, as confirmed by the nine total touchdowns (5 throwing, 2 rushing, 2 TD hauls) he has registered in his swan song…

Fellow 12th grader, Nick Duryea, has thrived as the primary all-purpose option out of the backfield, as he has amassed 877 yards (660 rushing) and nine TDs (7 on the ground)!

Top-target, Nick Calandros, swept all major receiving categories in his final as a KC standout student-athlete, as he racked up totals of 19 catches for 310 yards and a trio of touchdown grabs!! 

Don’t sleep on frosh signal caller, KJ Dillon, either…Since assuming more of a role patrolling the offense late in the 2022 season, he has demonstrated pinpoint accuracy, connecting on 25-of-33 attempts (76%) for 320 yards, and three touchdowns (all in his last outing; a 28-21 OT loss to #3 seed, Xaverian) in weeks 6 and 7…

As It pertain to the visitors hailing from Flushing [Holy Cross], current statistics and/or box scores are not currently available….However, at the start of the fall, Head Coach, Tim Smith stated that the goal of the team was to be much more well-rounded/team oriented…So when you see play-makers such as Issac Glaudin (WR),  Terrance Alexander (RB), Nakai Maupin (RB), etc., you never want to place limitations on the Knights!  

While scheduling has much to do with it, it need to be acknowledged that despite being the road team this coming weekend, Holy Cross enters with more momentum, as they have won 2 of their past 3 outings…The host Gaels on the other hand has dropped three straight; so this Saturday will be their opportunity to right the ship and create a buzz as they try to run a gauntlet that will deliver them to ‘ship weekend for the third time 2018 (split “A” title contests with Spellman in 2018 & 2019)!

Anticipate a very evenly matched collision that could go down to the very last possession….Using common opponents, both programs had narrow losses to Xaverian and stream-rolled Spellman by similar scores (42-7 Kennedy; 44-6 Holy Cross)…The boys of Somers were slightly more competitive in losses to Mt. St. Michael (27-21 vs. 36-12) & Xavier (26-6 vs. 46-20)….Cross kept it closer against 2021 AA-2 champs, Holy Trinity (34-8 vs. 30-0)

 

NOTE: #1 and #2 Seeds, Xavier & Mount St. Michael Academy, both have byes into the semifinal round after posting records of 5-2 and 5-4 respectively!!