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Christ the King gets first win over Kellenberg, 41-7

The Christ the King varsity football team finally got off the snide Sunday night, beating the Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds, 41-7, at St. John’s University.

Head coach Mike Cassidy’s Royals came into the game 0-4 overall on the year and were facing a Kellenberg team that had dominated the cross-Queens Holy Cross Knights earlier this season. But some pregame scouting and a solid game plan in the second half carried Christ the King to its first win this season.

“We actually won a game,” jokes Cassidy. “I’m happy for the kids. They felt good about themselves tonight.”

The two teams played pretty even through the first two quarters, the only difference being a five-yard touchdown run by Gordon McQuiller in the second quarter. The Royals were all set to try the extra point, when an offside penalty on the defense moved the ball inside the two-yard line, compelling Cassidy to try for two.

McQuiller ran the same play as the touchdown run moments earlier, resulting in two more points and an 8-0 Royals’ lead.

Christ the King broke the game open in the third quarter when Cassidy went to a “wishbone” offense, a three-back set which Mount St. Michael had used the previous week with great success against Kellenberg. A week later and the Firebirds continued to struggle against the offense.

“They just couldn’t stop it,” Cassidy said.

Fullback Anthony Lazarus started the onslaught by pounding the ball up the middle against the Kellenberg defense, which was caught on its heels. The straight-ahead attack then set up the speedy Steven Morrison, who went outside for a 35-yard third-quarter touchdown. The extra point was good, making the score 15-0.

The two-touchdown lead was nearly doubled in rapid succession, when outside linebacker Benjamin Sawyer picked off Kellenberg and returned the ball 30 yards for a touchdown on the ensuing possession.

The same thing happened on the next Kellenberg drive, with Sawyer picking off yet another pass and returning for a 25-yard touchdown, making the score 28-0.

Lazarus scored on a three-yard run later in the half to make the score 34-0, before Kellenberg finally got on the board in the fourth quarter. Curtis Vandemark, the Royals’ back-up running back, closed out the scoring with a five-yard run.

“It’s constant reinforcement,” Cassidy said of the win. “Tonight they didn’t play exceptionally well. We made a couple of mistakes, but we won.”

The Royals (1-4 overall, 1-3 CHSFL) will host the Xaverian Clippers Saturday at 7 p.m. at St. John’s University. The game will be one of the highlights of the school’s homecoming weekend. Xaverian (3-2) is coming off a 27-6 win over Stepinac.

St. Francis Prep 37, Iona Prep 6. Jerrell Smith ran for 103 yards on six carries, including a 59-yard touchdown, and Natale Modica scored on a one-yard run and 95 yards on the day, as St. Francis Prep beat the Iona Prep Gaels Sunday afternoon, improving to 3-2 overall, 2-2 in league play. The Terriers will head to Long Island to take on the Holy Trinity Titans Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Mount St. Michael 40, Holy Cross 6. Trashaad Thomas scored three times for Mount, as the Knights’ record dipped to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in league play Saturday with this drubbing at the hands of the Mounties. Deveraux Leget’s two-yard run — following Fred Acevedo’s fumble recovery — was the Knights’ lone score on the day. Holy Cross will host Monsignor Farrell Saturday at the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point at 1:30 p.m.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

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