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Prep caps flawless season

TimesLedger Newspapers

St. Francis Prep played like a team with something to prove all year after losing in the CHSFL Class A football final last year.

Now the team can let their record speak for itself, as they finished the regular season undefeated in league play and enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed from the AA-A division.

The latest victory, the Terriers’ seventh straight win, did not come as easily as they had hoped. St. Peter’s pushed the Terriers to the brink and almost spoiled their sparkling record.

St. Francis Prep (7-1, 7-0) rallied late and defeated the Eagles 34-26 last Saturday afternoon on Staten Island. SFP quarterback John Hurley led his offense, throwing two touchdowns and racking up 186 yards. He is thrilled with the undefeated season, but is even more grateful that St. Peter’s gave his team a scare going into the Class AA playoffs.

“It’s great,” Hurley said of his team’s accomplishments. “But we got a rude awakening out here today and I think we needed it.”

Trailing by eight, the Eagles (2-6, 2-5) took control of the ball inside of two minutes to play in the game. They marched down the field and were inside the Terriers’ 30-yard line when the St. Francis Prep defense put any hopes of a comeback to bed. St. Peter’s quarterback Billy Triglianos rolled left and threw a pass across his body. As the ball fluttered in the air, defensive back Justin Guerre camped under it, intercepting the pass.

“I wanted it real bad,” said Guerre, who dropped two clear interceptions in the third quarter. “It’s tough when you miss opportunities. You just gotta make up for it and get back up on the horse.”

Guerre also scored a touchdown on the offensive side, with a 35-yard run down the left sideline in the first quarter. Joey Troina ran in two scores of his own, both in the second half, of 1 and 5 yards.

Triglianos, despite the loss, torched the Terriers, passing for 254 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. Triglianos and wide receiver Andrew Gordon connected on two scores of 31 and 22 yards.

Legendary Terriers head Coach Vince O’Connor could not be more proud of the season his team has put together. O’Connor, who began coaching St. Francis Prep in 1953, still dons a youthful smile when talking about his players.

“They made the Prep proud today,” O’Connor said. “The kids played their heart out, and when they do that, you’re in trouble.”

Now the Terriers must put their regular season accomplishments behind them and focus on their next goal, the playoffs. They will face Kellenberg in its opening game next week and Hurley thinks this tight win will make his team hungry.

“We’re going to up the intensity,” Hurley said. “We’ll run the belly [offense] and play as hard as we can .... I think we’ll come out on top.”

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