SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 4, 2013

Prep crushed at home in playoff shutout against Lowell

DANVERS — It’s one-and-done in the Division 1 North football playoffs for St. John’s Prep, a team that has been decimated by injuries and school disciplinary issues.

A blitz-happy Lowell came into Cronin Stadium on Senior Day Saturday and totally dominated the Eagles, 41-0. Senior Keagan Latta led the Red Raiders with three touchdowns, three interceptions and a fumble recovery that he returned 26 yards for one of his scores. By halftime the visitors had a commanding, 34-0 lead and were well on their way to a semifinal date with Everett this weekend.

Latta caught a 26-yard pass from Brian Dolan in the opening quarter, then scored twice more in the second on his fumble recovery and a 46-yard interception return. He was a thorn in Prep quarterback Mike Geaslen’s side all afternoon, picking off a pass at the Lowell-29 yard line and added another INT on a tipped ball that set up the final Lowell score, a 33-yard run by Ngaiiva Mason (3 TDs).

“Everything went wrong early ... and it snowballed,” said Prep (4-4) head coach Jim O’Leary. “They had more speed in the middle than us, and we had a difficult time getting the running game going. We’re a running, play-action team but couldn’t get our guys to the outside like we wanted.

“We were asking the guys up front to do a lot, with four of our five not (the usual starting unit). They worked hard and they will be good players, but right now they’re inexperienced.”

Three of the offensive linemen for St. John’s are missing because of school disciplinary action, but two should be back next week along with junior Jake Palmer, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago. The only offensive lineman who played Saturday that started from the beginning of the season was center Sean Lovett.

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