Friars Football: CHSFL Players of the Year

January 17, 2008

Friars Football Features 2007

Title: CHSFL Players of the Year
Publication: Frairs
Author: Jason Molinet
Date: 1-17-08
Word Count: 259

Nearly two months after Scott Vallone hoisted the CHSFL championship trophy high over his head to the cheers of fans at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium, the afterglow of that memorable football season is still shining bright. Vallone was one of three St. Anthony’s players named to the New York State Sports Writers Association All-State Class AA football team.

The NYSSWA All-State team, released this week, named Vallone, a senior defensive tackle, to the first-team defense. Vallone was one of just four Long Island standouts — and the lone representative of the CHSFL — selected to the 22-player first team. Senior center Austen Fletcher was named to the second team. Senior quarterback James Brady was placed on the fourth team.

It was just the latest honor for these decorated players.

The Rutgers-bound Vallone was named CHSFL Defensive Player of the Year and selected to Newsday’s All-Long Island football team after a season in which he registered 71 tackles (16 for a loss) in 10 games.

Brady, who recently committed to Georgetown, was tabbed CHSFL Offensive Player of the Year and named to Newsday’s All-Long Island team after completing 64 percent of his passes while throwing for nine touchdowns. He also rushed for eight scores in winning back-to-back titles.

Fletcher, who is still considering whether to play at Dartmouth or follow older brother Alex at Stanford, was a dominating force on the offensive line. He was also named to Newsday’s All-Long Island team.

A fourth player, senior safety and return man J.B. Andreassi, was selected Newsday second-team All-Long Island. He is headed to Dartmouth.

Friars Football: Friars Atone With Title No. 7

November 18, 2007

Friars Football championship 2007

Title: Lucky 7: Friars Atone With Title No. 7 In Thriller Over Mount
Publication: Frairs
Author: Jason Molinet
Date: 11-18-07
Word Count: 563

Just as he had done so many times this season, senior quarterback James Brady held onto the ball until he could no longer. Then he sprung the trap — at the expense of his own body.

With Mount St. Michael Academy defenders closing in Sunday night, Brady waited until the last possible second and then pitched the ball to his left and into the hands of junior running back Nicholas Mercurio. Brady paid a price, taking a physical wallop. But so did Mount St. Michael.

The aggressive Mountaineers defense suddenly found itself outflanked. Mercurio blew through a seam untouched and didn’t stop until he reached the end zone 39 yards later.

His breakaway touchdown with 4:37 left in the CHSFL Class AAA championship game set off an eruption of euphoria on the St. Anthony’s sideline. And the ensuing two-point run by Atiq Lucas put the final touches on a rousing 26-20 come-from-behind victory. No. 7 Mount St. Michael made one last drive inside the Friars’ 20 in the final minute, but quarterback Jayson Holt was stopped 1-yard shy of a first down at the 16 with 46 seconds left, allowing the St. Anthony’s faithful to exhale.

Mission accomplished. Top-seeded St. Anthony’s (10-1) stunned the Mountaineers (5-6) in the title game for the second straight season to capture the program’s seventh straight CHSFL crown and 10th overall.

And to think, many naysayers piled on when the Mountaineers handed St. Anthony’s a 22-12 loss in the Bronx Week 3. The defeat snapped the Friars’ 64-game league winning streak. But these Friars shook off the setback and kept the dynasty alive and thriving as they celebrated on the turf at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.

While Brady was masterful orchestrating the offense, it was emerging junior Atiq Lucas who delivered once again. He rushed for 42 yards on nine carries, added three catches for 53 yards, scored on a lightning 25-yard end around and added a two-point conversion.

Another gifted back, senior William Ruggiero, pieced together a workmanlike effort. He managed 39 yards on seven carries and scored on runs of 2 and 9 yards. Mercurio finished with 61 yards on five attempts. That diversity and depth, along with a hard-nosed offensive line, paved the way to success.

The defense surrendered 194 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to the elusive Holt, but St. Anthony’s did just enough to negate his stirring effort. The D came up with two fourth-quarter fumbles and stopped the Mountaineers twice inside the red zone in the final minutes.

With the teams deadlocked at 12, Mount senior running back Isiah Moody took the opening kickoff of the second half 97 yards up the right sideline. Holt hit Thomas Cardona on a pass into the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 20-12 Mountaineers lead.

A big return on the ensuing kickoff by J.B. Andreassi set up the Friars at their own 48. Brady marched St. Anthony’s the rest of the way, capped by Lucas’ mad dash for a 25-yard score to close the gap to 20-18. Brady’s two-point pass was broken up, and so the Friars still trailed into the fourth quarter.

But the defense, led by Scott Vallone, turned up the heat. Vallone recovered a Holt fumble at the Mount 39 with 4:50 left. Mercurio took the next play to the house. And the St. Anthony’s legacy of gridiron greatness continues.


With Rutgers coach Greg Schiano looking on from the St. Anthony’s sideline, his prized recruit put together a memorable performance in his final game in a Friars uniform. Defensive tackle Scott Vallone corralled Mount St. Michael quarterback Jayson Holt on fourth-and-9 from the St. Anthony’s 22-yard line. It took two St. Anthony’s teammates to finish off Holt, but the Mount quarterback eventually went down 3 yards shy of the first down. Credit Vallone, who also recovered a critical fourth-quarter fumble, recorded two sacks and finished with nine tackles. That’s championship football. Schaino must have been proud.


The St. Anthony’s defense turned away Mount St. Michael in the red zone twice in the final 10 minutes. With The Friars trailing 20-18 with 9:16 left, junior defensive end Rafiq Wallace crashed through the line and slammed into Mount St. Michael quarterback Jayson Holt, knocking the ball free. Junior linebacker Paul Alessandri recovered the fumble at the Friars’ 13. Not only did it keep the Mountaineers off the scoreboard, it gave the Friars momentum going into the final minutes.


TEAM………………………1…..2…..3…..4 — FINAL
Mount St. Michael…….6…..6…..8…..0 — 20
St. Anthony’s…………….6…..6…..6…..8 — 26
SA — Ruggiero 2 run (kick failed)
MSM — Holt 4 run (run failed)
MSM — Holt 15 run (run failed)
SA — Ruggiero 9 run (run failed)
MSM — Moody 97 kickoff (Cardona from Holt)
SA — Lucas 25 run (pass failed)
SA — Mercurio 39 run (Lucas run)

Friars Football: Friars Hold Off Iona Prep Attack

November 9, 2007

Friars Football semifinal 2007 

Title: Gaels Force: Friars Hold Off Iona Prep Attack, Earn Title Shot
Publication: Frairs
Author: Jason Molinet
Date: 11-9-07
Word Count: 250

Iona Prep senior quarterback Ryan O’Neil and his reputation as the most prolific passer in the CHSFL didn’t mean much to a St. Anthony’s defense that manhandled him Week 2 and had rarely been beaten deep this season.

Once again, the 6-2, 170-pound O’Neil took a beating each time he dropped back to pass Friday night against the Friars. But he also beat them deep and nearly ended the Friars’ seven-year run on top. O’Neil completed 24 of 39 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns — all to speedy junior wideout Chris Alfano.

The defense did just enough to stymie No. 5 Iona Prep, turning away the Gaels at the goal line in the second quarter and sacking O’Neil on fourth down with 58 seconds left as top-seeded St. Anthony’s pulled out a 23-20 win in a CHSFL Class AAA semifinal before a rain-soaked crowd of 800 at Cy Donnelly Field in South Huntington.

St. Anthony’s (9-1) will face the Chaminade-Mount St. Michael winner for the title next weekend at a date, site and time to be announced on Monday. The Friars are the six-time defending champions.

Credit St. Anthony’s senior quarterback James Brady for carrying the offense. The team piled up 243 yards on the ground, led by Brady. He ran for 111 yards on 19 carries and scored what proved to be the game-winner, a 25-yard burst with 11:50 left. Nicholas Ferrara’s point after attempt made it 23-14.

Brady also completed 5 of 13 passes for 112 yards.


The offensive line did its job, as usual. But what really made all the difference for the Friars was the relentless fashion in which James Brady, William Ruggiero and Atiq Lucas carried the ball. Each churned out second-effort carries that had to be deflating to the Iona Prep defense. Brady finished with 111 yards on 19 carries and a 25-yard touchdown run. Ruggiero plowed ahead for 94 yards on 11 carries and a 2-yard score. Lucas added 71 yards total offense, including 35 yards on three carries. He turned a counter into a twisting 23-yard touchdown, shaking off a myriad of defenders.


The Friars’ second-quarter goal-line stand probably saved the season. Iona Prep drove 63 yards — highlighted by a 28-yard strike from Ryan O’Neil to Tim Murray — to the St. Anthony’s 5-yard line. Jeffrey Mack carried the ball 4 more yards, setting up second-and-goal from the 1. Iona Prep tried to shove the ball down the throat of the Friars’ defense on each of the next three plays. The last, a blast off right tackle by Darlos James with 6:40 left, was stuffed by a wall of back and gold. Not only did James get stopped short, he was hurt on the play.


TEAM………………………1…..2…..3…..4 — FINAL
Iona Prep………………….0…..7…..7…..6 — 20
St. Anthony’s…………….7…..3…..6…..7 — 23
SA — Lucas 23 run (Grennen kick)
IP — Alfano 10 pass from O’Neil (Beckett kick)
SA — FG 29 Ferrara
IP — Alfano 35 pass from O’Neil (Beckett kick)
SA — Ruggiero 2 run (kick failed)
SA — Brady 25 run (Ferrara kick)
IP — Alfano 62 pass from O’Neil (kick failed)

Friars Football: CHSFL AAA Playoff Preview

October 29, 2007

Friars Football Playoff Preview 2007

Title: CHSFL AAA Playoff Preview
Publication: Frairs
Author: Jason Molinet
Date: 10-29-07
Word Count: 745

The end of another regular season gives us pause and brings two undeniable facts into focus. The first: parity has washed over the CHSFL Class AAA division. When 3-5 Mount St. Michael can count a win against 7-1 St. Anthony’s as part of its resume and No. 6 Chaminade can break out game film of its 7-6 win over No. 3 Holy Trinity, then the rule of the day says anything is possible.

The second observation is this: a hiccup against the Mountaineers aside, St. Anthony’s is still the top seed and favorite to win the program’s seventh straight league championship. The Friars are 79-6 since the start of the 2000 season and Mount is one of two CHSFL teams to beat them over that span. (Farrell edged St. Anthony’s in the 2000 title game.)

What does it all mean? Get ready for a bumpy ride because in the November cold, anything is possible. The playoffs begin now. Here’s a breakdown of each CHSFL Class AAA quarterfinal:

Xaverian vs. St. Anthony’s

WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: South Huntington
RECORDS: Xaverian (0-8); St. Anthony’s (7-1)
THE SCOOP: St. Anthony’s beat Brooklyn-Xaverian, 27-6, on the road Week 5. The Friars had their way with Xaverian, especially James Brady. The quarterback had running lanes open up again and again and used them to lethal effect. The score did not reflect just how dominating St. Anthony’s played. The Friars have only gotten better in the month since. Take the defense. Ever since giving up 30 points in a 42-30 win over Farrell, the defense surrendered a combined 20 points over the next four games. Now the defense must prepare for two quarterbacks with much different styles. Xaverian will likely play both strong-armed Najee Tyler and run-oriented Ethan Ostermayer. It just might be enough to cause confusion. But will it be enough to keep the teams close on the scoreboard?

Iona Prep vs. Farrell

WHEN: Saturday, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Staten Island
RECORDS: Iona Prep (4-4); Farrell (5-3)
THE SCOOP: This is a rematch from Saturday, a 30-28 Staten Island-Farrell win. Farrell rallied for 14 fourth quarter points and then won it in overtime. The New Rochelle-Iona Prep defense has given up 92 points over the last three weeks and is winless over that span. That’s a tall order for the league’s top passer, Ryan O’Neil (1,732 yards, 17 TDs). If the Gaels win, it will be on his arm and with the help of some big plays on defense. Recent history is on their side. Iona Prep is playoff tough. It played for the title in 2005 and fell to St. Anthony’s in the semis a year ago. Farrell has won three in a row, and also boasts a dynamic quarterback in Michael Gentile. His top target is sure-handed receiver Anthony Evanelista. Farrell has reached the title game five times since 1998, but not since 2004. Anything is possible in this one.

Chaminade vs. Holy Trinity

WHEN: Sunday, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Hicksville
RECORDS: Chaminade (4-4); Holy Trinity (4-4)
THE SCOOP: Chaminade held off Holy Trinity, 7-6, in Week 4 action. But Holy Trinity rebounded to win three of its last four games. Sophomore Anthony Brunetti has been the workhorse, although it was another back, Aaron McRea that carried the offense in the regular season finale, a 22-16 road win over Mount St. Michael. Quarterback Michael Lagalante (9 TD passes) has been a playmaker. Chaminade is coming off a gritty 17-0 loss to St. Anthony’s, the culmination of an up and down season. The Flyers have the tools on offense: quarterback Doug Vella, tight end Luke Nawrocki, versatile back Alexander Fox and kicker Gerald Levano. Chaminade has been victimized at times on defense, so that may hold the key.

Mount St. Michael vs. St. Joseph by the Sea

WHEN: Sunday, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Staten Island
RECORDS: Mount St. Michael (3-5); St. Joseph by the Sea (6-2)
THE SCOOP: Staten Island-St. Joseph by the Sea beat Bronx-Mount St. Michael, 15-12, in Week 4. More importantly for the Vikings, they were able to put behind a humbling Week 7 loss to St. Anthony’s and rebound with a 28-7 win over Xaverian to close out the regular season. Sea’s double-wing offense is tough to stop. It takes a disciplined, physical defense to slow bruising back Patrick Brennan. Mount St. Michael quarterback Jayson Holt is at the heart of what Mount does. He’s lightning fast and can throw the bomb too. Mount played in the title game a year ago. Despite an inconsistent season, overall team speed and playoff experience give the Mountaineers a slight edge.

Friars Football: Friars Shut Down Brunetti

October 13, 2007

Friars Football Week 6 2007

Title: Run Stoppers: Friars Shut Down Brunetti, Run Away From Holy Trinity
Publication: Frairs
Author: Jason Molinet
Date: 10-13-07
Word Count: 1063

It was a designed draw, just as most of his runs begin. St. Anthony’s senior quarterback James Brady dropped back, bobbed on the balls of his feet as if setting up to throw and then tucked the ball under his left arm and shot up the middle through a crease.

Brady was past the line in a blink, stepped through a hand tackle and headed toward the end zone just 13 yards away. As he approached the goal line, Brady grabbed the football with his right hand and thrust it into the air.

That was the defining image of a day ruled by Brady runs and a stubborn St. Anthony’s defense. Brady scored three times to power the Friars past rival Holy Trinity, 34-14, in a key CHSFL clash Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 800 in Hicksville.

Brady’s 13-yard scoring run came with 56 seconds left. It capped another gritty performance by the hobbled senior. Brady injured his left foot against Iona Prep and hasn’t been healthy in the four weeks since.

Still, Brady was the one MSG cameras trained on and reporters quoted in the post-game confusion. The 6-1, 215-pound Brady shook off a poor passing day to rush for a season-high 114 yards on 11 carries and touchdown runs of 1, 1 and 13 yards. He also completed 5 of 12 passes for 63 yards and an interception.


It’s always important to set the tone early — especially on the road. Like the rest of the league, Holy Trinity hadn’t beaten the Friars in recent memory. The streak was 13 in a row, dating to 1993. The Titans were hungry to stop the streak.

Then came the opening kickoff. St. Anthony’s senior return man J.B. Andreassi took the ball at the 15 and jetted up the middle, though a gap in the wedge and into open field. No one caught Andreassi. He pulled up 85 yards later and the Friars led just 12 seconds into the game. Rich Grennen’s point after attempt put St. Anthony’s in front 7-0.

The defense — along with a questionable call by Titans coach Tony Mascia — gave Brady and Co. the ball at midfield with 5:53 left in the first quarter. That’s when senior linebacker Craig Staub dropped Holy Trinity quarterback Michael Lagalante for a 10-yard loss on fourth down.

Brady extended the lead to 14-0 nine plays later with a 1-yard keeper. Another long march late in the second quarter — 73 yards on 12 plays — sent the Friars into halftime ahead 21-7.


There will be those who claim the contest was much closer than the score indicates. But pull back the curtain and there’s an even harsher reality behind the perception.

The bottom line: Holy Trinity (2-4 overall, 2-3 CHSFL) struggled to move the ball. Sophomore sensation Anthony Brunetti entered the day with 728 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns to power the Titans. He owned five 100-yard games.

That streak was stopped by the Friars (5-1, 4-1). Holy Trinity managed 89 yards on 34 carries — good for 2.6 yards per carry — and Brunetti (67 yards on 16 attempts) was held out of the end zone.

The return of Rutgers-bound defensive tackle Scott Vallone helped. Winless Xaverian rushed for 147 yards against the Friars. But that was with Vallone sidelined by a neck injury. His presence, along with the Friars’ swarming linebackers, did a solid job of bottling up the Titans.

Holy Trinity’s first score was aided by two 15-yard penalties. Both were questionable. The first was a facemask. The infraction was clear. But the player in question let go of the facemask almost immediately. The second was a late hit by Vallone. But if his hit was late, the flag was thrown even later by an uncertain official.


Lagalante was the lone bright spot. One year after getting hurt in a loss to St. Anthony’s, Lagalante accounted for both Holy Trinity scores. But again, things weren’t as they seemed.

A roughing the kicker penalty kept the second Holy Trinity scoring drive alive. Then Lagalante hit consecutive 31-yard passes, the latter a strike to junior wideout Gregory Walsh in the back of the end zone to close the gap to 27-14 early in the fourth quarter.

The secondary has been a source of strength for the Friars. But the St. Anthony’s defense was missing three quarters of its secondary on Trinity’s scoring drive. Andreassi cramped up and left the field on the series. Lockdown cornerback Matthew Metalios, who made several big plays against Xaverian, was already on the bench getting treatment. And senior safety Dan Basil, a real playmaker, was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a possible concussion.

With three of the Friars’ best players on the sideline, Lagalante suddenly found holes in the defense and exploited them. He couldn’t repeat that magic when the Titans got the ball back with 4:21 left. Lagalante drove the Titans to the St. Anthony’s 33 before senior linebacker Kevin Waite wrapped up a workmanlike performance with a 7-yard sack on fourth down.

No, this one wasn’t close.


Want to know how badly each team wanted this one? A scuffle broke out following a St. Anthony’s kickoff return midway through the fourth quarter. Andreassi got buried on the play and a scrum ensued.

By the time emotions finally cooled, both Holy Trinity and St. Anthony’s were assessed offsetting personal foul penalties and Holy Trinity senior Kenneth Murphy was ejected. No doubt adrenaline had turned to frustration for Holy Trinity as the Friars had the game in hand.

St. Anthony’s rushed for 253 yards and won the game at the point of the attack. Coach Rich Reichert called upon his players to show who was the more physical team. That point was made time and again. The line gave backs Nicholas Mercurio (64 yards on nine carries) and William Ruggiero (54 yards on 13 attempts) room to roam.

Even though the defense forced just one turnover (a Ryan Fumai interception), eight plays ended in losses.

The Friars will need another stellar effort against the dynamic ground attack of Staten Island upstart St. Joseph by the Sea. The Friars host Sea at 7 p.m. Friday.

The winner of that game could well earn the top seed in the Class AAA playoffs. Adjust your chin strap. The stretch run is finally here.


Senior quarterback James Brady, still bothered by a nagging foot injury, showed his leadership skills time and again against rival Holy Trinity. After the Titans cut the deficit to 14-7 midway through the second quarter, Brady led the Friars on a 12-play, 73-yard march. It culminated with a 1-yard push into the end zone on fourth down. It was one of three rushing touchdowns on the day for Brady, who scrambled for a season-high 114 yards on 11 carries. He also completed 5 of 12 passes for 63 yards and an interception.


Nothing sets the tone like running back the opening kickoff. That’s what super senior J.B. Andreassi did, taking the kickoff up the middle untouched for an 85-yard score and 7-0 St. Anthony’s lead just 12 seconds into the game. Andreassi, a safety, also scored on a 70-yard interception return last week against Xaverian.


TEAM……………………1…..2…..3…..4 — FINAL
St. Anthony’s………..14…..7…..0….13 — 34
Holy Trinity……………0…..7…..0……7 — 14
SA — Andreassi 85 kickoff return (Grennen kick)
SA — Brady 1 run (Ferrara kick)
HT — Cureton 6 pass from Lagalante (Matias kick)
SA — Brady 1 run (Grennen kick)
SA — Ruggiero 3 run (run failed)
HT — Walsh 31 pass from Lagalante (Matias kick)
SA — Brady 13 run (Ferrara kick)

Friars Football: Friars Dominate Xaverian

October 6, 2007

Friars Football Week 5 2007

Title: Xclamation! Friars Hit The Road, Dominate Xaverian
Publication: Frairs
Author: Jason Molinet
Date: 10-6-07
Word Count: 972

A marathon day began for many St. Anthony’s seniors sequestered in silent classrooms with enough tension hanging in the air to pull a 16-wheeler down the highway. That’s right, SAT Saturday.

As if hours spent clinging to a No. 2 pencil and tapping every corner in the brain weren’t exhausting enough, the football team needed to be back at school by 2 p.m. St. Anthony’s had a road date with CHSFL foe Xaverian in Brooklyn.

So a long day turned downright painful once the yellow school busses carrying the Friars limped along the Belt Parkway in stop-and-go traffic until pulling off the road at Sheepshead Bay.

It didn’t take long for Friars to take out their collective frustration. Winless Xaverian had no answer for the dynamic offense St. Anthony’s trotted into the walled facility known as Kings Bays Field. Senior quarterback James Brady led scoring drives on the Friars’ first two possessions and the defense pitched a shutout for 45 minutes as St. Anthony’s earned a convincing 27-6 win.

Yet in the postgame locker room, Friars coaches were far from impressed. This was an uneven performance at best, and with rival Holy Trinity looming on the schedule, the staff ripped into players. St. Anthony’s (4-1 overall, 3-1 CHSFL) has yet to play a complete game.

“This was a lost opportunity to get guys more playing time,” coach Rich Reichert explained. He added: “You have an X on your back every football game.”

Offensive coordinator Fred Gallagher promised lots of running come Monday.

No doubt this was a day these teenagers couldn’t wait to end.


The game was never in doubt. Brady ensured as much with a strong opening quarter. He opened the first offensive series by whipping the ball to Michael Capozzi for a 17-yard completion to the Xaverian 42-yard line.

Brady finished the drive five plays later by bolting up the middle with a 19-yard touchdown scramble. Senior Rich Grennen pounded the extra point through the uprights for a 7-0 Friars lead just 3:49 into the game. A partisan crowd of 250 roared its approval.

The offense got the ball back 42 seconds later in Xaverian territory. Junior running back Nicholas Mercurio rumbled 5 yards before Brady found senior wideout Jack Kensil open in the right flat. The 6-3, 180-pound Kensil did the rest, turning upfield and shaking three tacklers en route to a 34-yard touchdown. As Nicholas Ferrara converted the point after attempt and extend the lead to 14-0, 6:39 remained in the first quarter.

Brady and Kensil hooked up four times for 56 yards on the night as Brady completed 9 of 16 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown. The quarterback rushed for 46 more yards on nine carries and another score.


Until he was knocked out of the game late in the first half, shifty Xaverian running back Jaquan Bethune proved to be a major headache for St. Anthony’s defensive coordinator George McLaren. The 5-9, 168-pound junior piled up 78 yards on 11 carries and refused to go down on first contact.

It seemed as though there was a huge hole in the middle of the Friars defense. Indeed, there was. Rutgers-bound defensive tackle Scott Vallone, one of the premier run-stuffers in the nation, was on the sideline. So was fellow lineman Miguel Roque.

Roque was nursing a shoulder injury. Vallone left last week’s Farrell game in the third quarter with a neck injury. After getting treatment on the bench, Vallone pleaded to go back in as Farrell moved the ball late in the game. His cries fell unanswered.

The 6-3, 265-pound Vallone was a silent bystander in Brooklyn, wearing his jersey and sweats. Vallone’s absence from the lineup was precautionary. But no one can say if he’ll even play next week against Holy Trinity.

Little wonder Xaverian (0-5, 0-4) found running room. Gifted quarterback Najee Tyler couldn’t get it done through the air. He tossed three interceptions and was sacked five times. The Clippers still managed to put a scare into the Friars by racking up 147 yards on the ground.


Reichert’s crew showed there was more than one way to put away a football game. Ferrara, who showcases his booming kickoffs after each Friars’ score, got a chance to prove himself as a marksman with 9 seconds left in the half. He boomed a 42-yard field goal into a slight wind with plenty of room to spare.

Reichert had hoped the offense would respond in the third quarter the way it opened the game. But the Friars bogged down again and again and managed just one more field goal — this time a 21-yard attempt by Grennen with 9:22 left — extending the lead to 20-0 midway through the fourth quarter. It was one of two drives that stalled inside the 10. Another was simply stopped on downs.

The defense finished off Xaverian moments later. Tyler aired it out deep over the middle and senior safety J.B. Andreassi snared it. A footrace ensued as Andreassi blazed 70 yards for a touchdown — the second interception return for the Friars defense this season.

That’s when the second unit began to filter onto the field. And that’s how Xaverian finally got on the scoreboard. Tyler beat the backups for an 8-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Mistretta with 2:32 left.

In the end, St. Anthony’s drove out of Brooklyn with a win under its belt and no serious injuries. Yes, there were lapses on both sides of the ball. But when you play a winless team, the tendency to dismiss them as a threat is impossible to resist.

St. Anthony’s did what it needed to against Xaverian. Enjoy it. The schedule gets tougher from here on into the playoffs. The Friars will need to elevate their game. A far bigger threat is next: Holy Trinity.


Junior Nicholas Ferrara — that’s right, the kicker — proved to be as big a weapon as the Friars possessed. His kickoffs boomed into the end zone for touchbacks, a huge edge in the battle for field position. Ferrara did yeoman work as a punter. He also added two extra points and an impressive 42-yard field goal that traveled well beyond the uprights. In fact, it hit the side of a building.


Senior receiver Jack Kensil showed he has more than sure hands, but the resolve of a playmaker when he broke a 34-yard touchdown. He took a short pass and broke three tackles down the right sideline with 6:39 left in the opening quarter for a 14-0 edge. It was his fourth score in five games and has emerged as a favorite target for James Brady.


TEAM……………………1…..2…..3…..4 — FINAL
St. Anthony’s………..14…..3…..0….10 — 27
Xaverian………………..0…..0…..0……6 — 6
SA — Brady 19 run (Grennen kick)
SA — Kensil 34 pass from Brady (Ferrara kick)
SA — FG 42 Ferrara
SA — FG 21 Grennen
SA — Andreassi 70 INT return (Ferrara kick)
X — Mistretta 8 pass from Tyler (kick failed)