The Holy Cross Knights, who thought they had locked up the league's No. 3 seed for the elite AAA playoffs Saturday night with a win over Chaminade, were relegated to the No. 5 slot and will have to travel for the quarterfinals.
The Knights will take on the undefeated Kellenberg (L.I.) Memorial Firebirds, a team pre-season ranked No. 13 in the league, at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hofstra University.
"That makes a big difference in the schedule," said Holy Cross head coach Tom Pugh of Kellenberg's opponents. "That plays to our advantage, I hope."
Kellenberg feasted on opponents this season, but did not have to play the league's two best teams, St. Anthony's and Monsignor Farrell, seeded No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. The Firebirds most recent win was a dominating performance over the St. Francis Prep Terriers Saturday. They also hold victories over St. John the Baptist, Holy Trinity, Cardinal Hayes, Iona Prep and Bishop Ford, none of which were ranked in the league preseason top 5.
Pugh said he has only seen Kellenberg play once this year and is impressed with the team's quarterback Bobby Seck. Seck, Pugh said, is the best quarterback in the league and is being recruited by a host of colleges.
"That's why we have to stop him," Pugh said. "They have a good team, but they didn't play a tough schedule."
The winner of the Cross-Kellenberg game will face the winner of the 'AAA' No. 1 vs. No. 8 game, featuring St. Anthony's and Chaminade. The St. Anthony's Friars have also yet to lose this year and should have little trouble with the struggling Flyers from Chaminade.
In the other bracket, Fordham Prep and Mount St. Michael will square off in the 3-6 game, while No. 7 Christ the King will take on No. 2 Farrell at 7 p.m. Saturday night in Staten Island.
Farrell beat Christ the King Saturday, 35-14, despite playing most of the game without star running back Jason Sullivan. Farrell has lost just once this year - to St. Anthony's - while the Royals enter the contest with a 2-5 league mark.
"They didn't dominate us," Christ the King coach Mike Cassidy said of Farrell. "They're a good team. there's no question about it."
In the league's second tier of playoffs, the 'AA,' St. Francis Prep has drawn the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Cardinal Hayes at 1 p.m. on Sunday at St. John's University.
The winner of the game will play the winner of the 2-7 game, Holy Trinity-Xavier, two teams St. Francis holds wins over this season. But getting by Hayes will be difficult enough for the Terriers, who lost to their playoff opponent during the regular season, 40-14.
The 'AA' No. 1 seed, Iona Prep, is afforded a by for the first round and will play the winner of the 4-5 game, between Stepinac and Xaverian.
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