St. Joe’s Flawless Second Half Bests Archbishop Wood
Warminster, Pa., The St. Joe Prep Hawks overcame Archbishop Wood’s dominant first half and took advantage of two costly Viking turnovers to the tune of a 31-21 non conference, fast paced, showcase affair at William Tenant’s Alumni stadium Saturday evening.
This game almost mirrored last year’s match up between the two teams in which Wood dominated the first half and Prep adjusted to dominate the second. Wood has prided itself over the last three years with a quick tempo run pounding offense that has left opposing teams behind by multiple scores before the second quarter of games. This game appeared headed toward that same result after Viking speedster Jarrett McClenton sprinted around the left side for an 80 yard touchdown that gave Wood a 21-7 advantage with still 10 minutes left in the half.
In last year’s meeting, Wood led 3-0 at halftime and out gained the Prep in total yards, 227-93. But six turnovers contributed to Prep’s 23-10 win. In last night’s game, Wood did much the same with a 268-163 yardage advantage at intermission. As in last year’s game, the turning point was a crucial fumble by McClenton that was recovered by the Prep’s Dillon DeIuliis at the Viking 38. Hawk RB Olamide Zaccheaus ran for a 36 yard TD on the next play which put the Prep down by only a touchdown going into the locker room.
Holding a 21-14 halftime lead the Vikings had a chance to open the game up when Justin Rubin recovered quarterback Chris Martin’s fumble at the Prep 46 but punted five plays later. The Hawks then countered with an 11 play, 80 yard drive capped with Martin’s 6 yard score and a momentum changer that left the Vikings on edge.
Wood QB Tom Garlick then was intercepted by Ryan McNulty at the Viking 36. A Martin 24 yard run set up Zaccheaus’s second touchdown, this one from 4 yards out which gave the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish.
Bottom line, this game was very important to both coaching staffs in the development of their team’s and the schemes they implore. Both teams should strongly contend for a state title. If anything, last night’s result should benefit Coach Steve Devlin more because Wood appears to be a team that could struggle when playing from behind because of a lack of a passing game. In AAA, there may not be a team in the East that could put them in this position but if anything, last night’s game may prompt Wood to adjust a bit more on to an air attack in the case that someone puts them in this position. St Joe coach Gabe Infante overcame a 42-0 loss to Jersey power Don Bosco in week two and may appear headed toward a run that could get them to Hershey as well.
Notes: Reid made a great block which sprung Zaccheaus on his 36 yard TD at the end of the first half. He is the complete package of a player that has great hands, great down field blocker, running back, true shut down corner as a DB and also very difficult to bring down. Wood’s offensive line of Ryan Bates, Deion Oliver, Jack Kenney, Dan Coyle and Ryan Neher were almost flawless together in the first half in their drive blocking techniques. All but Oliver are juniors and this group should be even more productive next year. Offensive line coach Mike Carey as usual has developed a great unit for McClenton to run behind. The Hawks DeIuliis played an inspiring game at LB with multiple stops and also provided a stopgap as backfield blocker on many of Martin’s throws. The Prep’s Pat Walsh had great hang time on all his punts. QB Garlick’s first quarter TD was the result of a sensational play fake which stood up most of Prep’s front seven. However his first completion did not occur until there were only four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Martin is the perfect compliment to the Hawks offensive weapons. He has a running back’s mentality and gained major yardage on runs up the middle as the Viking defense concentrated their efforts to stop Reid, Zaccheaus and D’Andre Swift. Ditto for Wood’s McClenton, who is perfect to run behind coach Steve Devlin’s offensive scheme. He has tremendous breakaway speed.
Scoring By Quarter
W- Garlick- 9 run- McDonald kick- 5:27
SJP- Reid- 23 pass from Martin- Walsh kick – 2:04
W- McClenton- 24 run – McDonald kick – 11:52
W- McClenton- 80 run- McDonald kick- 10:15
SJP- Zaccheaus- 36 run- Walsh kick- 3:24
SJP- Martin- 6 run- Walsh kick- 2:46
SJP- Zaccheaus- 4 run- walsh kick- 11:56
SJP- Walsh- 33 FG – 4:55
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