Central Catholic stunned the Eagles with an 80-yard, seven-play opening drive as University of New Hampshire-bound D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie barreled into the end zone from three yards out. That touchdown was set up by a 43-yard pass from Milano to Cody Demers.
“Wow. That first series surprised us, but we settled down,” said O’Leary. “We are maturing as a football team, and our defense did a nice job in the second half.”
Owen Rockett, Thomas and quarterback Mike Geaslen all had touchdown runs in the first half for St. John’s before the Raiders scored with 18 seconds left until intermission, tying the game at 21-21. Central threatened to take the lead early in the third quarter when the Prep defense caused a fumble at their own 13-yard line. Immediately they capitalized, driving 87 yards for the go-ahead score on a Thomas 6-yard scamper.
That lead grew to 33-21 midway through the fourth quarter when Geaslen threw a 34-yard TD pass to Logan Mahoney, who caught the ball at the 2 with a defender draped all over him and surged forward for the score. Thomas’ electric interception runback then ended any hopes of a Central comeback.
Brandan Kahari also had a strong game defensively for St. John’s.