The St. Francis Prep football team arrived at the Mitchel Athletic Complex with a chip on their shoulder and a monkey on their back. The Terriers’ winless season had nothing to do with their opponents Friday, but they still took out their frustrations on Kellenberg.
“We said we’re going to beat them over the ball and we had that confidence going in,” St. Francis Prep quarterback Brendan Stackpole said. “We were ticked off we were 0-7 and just hit them in the mouth and knocked them down.”
St. Francis Prep achieved its goal, cruising to a 34-16 victory over the Firebirds, a win two months in the making.
“It feels great. We waited all year for the first one,” senior Bryan Caffrey said. “I’m proud of our team, we pulled together after all these losses and we came out on top. Now we’ve got to get momentum into the playoffs and we’ll try and get as far as we can.”
Caffrey had one of his best games in a St. Francis Prep uniform. The underrated wide receiver had five catches for 104 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown reception on the fourth play from scrimmage, that immediately put Kellenberg (1-7, 1-6 CHSFL ‘AAA’) in a hole.
He also kicked three field goals — two from 32 yards and one from 22 yards.
“I feel like he’s our saint,” junior Keith Carrington said. “He saves us all the time — offense, defense, special teams. He just does his job.”
Carrington did his part, too. The defensive lineman recorded his first career sack, taking down Firebirds quarterback Nick Fiore late in the first quarter.
“I felt the blood just rushing through me,” Carrington said. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world right there, besides winning.”
Carrington added two more sacks, knocking Fiore out of the game with an apparent ankle injury. Chris McClain had an interception and Anthony Cracchiolo added a fumble recovery at the Kellenberg 15 following a bad snap in what was a solid all-around defensive effort by the Terriers.
Stackpole was 8-of-9 for 187 yards and two touchdowns, including a 36-yard strike to Chris Brudi that extended the Terriers lead to 31-0 with 5:22 left in the third quarter. Joe Licata had eight carries for 78 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter.
“It’s great to have some momentum going into the playoffs now,” Stackpole said. “We’re hitting the ground running. We deserved this so much. This is exactly what we needed — a confidence booster — and I’m proud of every guy. The offense did its job, the defense held it. Finally, for once, we all came together.”
Indeed, St. Francis Prep (1-7, 1-6) will compete in the CHSFL Class AA playoffs, most likely hosting undefeated Archbishop Stepinac Friday night at Mitchel. They have new life heading into the postseason. Carrington believes his team proved they’re better than their record indicates.
“I felt like we should have had at least four of those games,” Carrington said. “We should be in the middle of the league, then the ‘AAA’ playoffs. But it is what it is. We’re going in with momentum. We’ll hopefully get that next one and keep it rolling until the championship.”
Reach Dylan Butler at email@example.com.
©2009 Community News Group
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