There were periods of clapping during the St. Francis Prep football teams 20-minute meeting in the visitors locker room at James M. Shuart Stadium on the Hofstra University campus in Hempstead Saturday night.
But like the final score, a 37-24 loss to Chaminade, and the final passing numbers of starting quarterback Peter Mazzurco, the applause was largely cosmetic.
The true story of the game could be found in the dejection on the faces of each player as he boarded a bus back to Fresh Meadows.
Chaminade (6-1, 5-1) dominated the game, scoring on six of its first seven possessions, and didnt punt until late in the fourth quarter. The Flyers led 37-12 before St. Francis Prep (3-4, 2-4) scored a pair of late touchdowns.
We got mixed up; we were out of position a few times and that cant happen, said St. Francis Prep senior linebacker Daniel Michitsch. We broke down at the beginning and we got a late start. You cant start getting tough in the fourth quarter.
The loss was a crushing blow to a team that desperately needed the win if it hoped to make the CHSFL AAA playoffs. Now, a year removed from losing in the title game to St. Anthonys, the Terriers are ninth in the standings, one game out of the AAA playoffs.
They had an awful lot of weapons on offense. They ran the ball and threw the ball well, said St. Francis Prep coach Vincent OConnor. Theyre a very good football team and we got behind early and couldnt come back.
It was St. Francis Prep that scored first as Mazzurco (23-for-41, 264 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) hit a wide open Max Badette for a 33-yard touchdown strike to put the Terriers in front, 6-0, on their opening possession. Mazzurcos extra point attempt was blocked, the first of two on the night.
Led by senior running back Kraig Binick (175 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns), Chaminade roared back to take a 7-6 lead on its first possession as senior quarterback Daniel Devine (8-for-10, 120 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) rolled left and lofted the ball into the left corner of the end zone, finding Ryan Clarke for an 11-yard touchdown strike.
The Flyers made it 13-6 with 9:45 left in the second quarter when Binick found a wide open Adam Giardina on a halfback option for a 27-yard touchdown strike.
The Terriers answered right back on an amazing diving catch by Mark Burik for a 26-yard touchdown to cut his teams deficit to 13-12, but three plays into its next drive Chaminade again found pay dirt as this time it was Devine to Timothy Andre over the middle of the defense for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
Binick caught Devines pass for the two-point conversion to give the Flyers a 21-12 lead heading into halftime.
Binick added back-to-back touchdown runs of 5 and 2 yards in the third quarter and Dominick Ancona booted a 24-yard field goal to put Chaminade comfortably ahead, 37-12, with 9:19 left in the game. The Flyers still hadnt punted.
When they score on every drive, its hard to keep the defense up, Michitsch said. We didnt get one stop.
St. Francis Prep will attempt to break a two-game losing streak but faces a daunting task Sunday at St. Johns University when it faces undefeated St. Anthonys at 1 p.m.
Were going to look at that game as if its our championship, Michitsch said. For the seniors, this is our AAA championship game.
Monsignor Farrell 26, Christ the King 19. With James McClancy on the sideline with blurred vision as a result of a hard hit at the end of the first half, and with backup quarterback Dwayne Box out with a shoulder injury, Christ the King coach Mike Cassidy called on starting running back Steven Morrison to call the signals in the second half.
Anthony Lazarus scored on touchdown runs of 30 and 5 yards in the fourth quarter to cut the Royals deficit to 20-13. After Farrell (4-2 CHSFL) added another score, Morrison capped the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Andre Redd.
Christ the King (1-6, 1-5 CHSFL) finishes its regular season Saturday at Holy Trinity. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.
Fordham Prep 42, Holy Cross 22. Dan Meara threw for two touchdowns, a 33-yard pass to Dennis Bailar and a 14-yard completion to Alex Dipetronio, for Holy Cross (1-6, 1-5 CHSFL), which plays St. Peters at Tottenville High School Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the regular season finale.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2002 Community News Group
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