“Honestly, I hoped we’d be able to score on a couple of those opportunities,” said Prep coach Jim O’Leary. “We knew they would be tough in the box so we had to be patient. We were able to pound the ball, but we didn’t get in. I knew if we stayed patient we’d break a few later on.
“That was a great testament to how they play. This was a hard hitting game; everything gets magnified because it’s Thanksgiving. Our guys were very excited. Defensively we played hard; we put them in a hole, and made them go long distances.”
Late in the first half Moore, who always seems to make a couple of big plays in every game, intercepted an Austin DeCarr pass after the Xaverian QB was pressured by defensive ends Tucker Mathers and Anthony Bongiorno. That set the Eagles up at the Hawks 23-yard line, but Prep QB Jack Sharrio was intercepted in the end zone to end yet another threat.
Moore gave his team a little breathing room in the final minute of the third quarter. The key play of the game started when Gerald Kahari ended Xaverian’s best scoring chance of the game by picking off DeCarr’s pass that was intended for Joe DeNucci at the goal line. Kahari stepped in front and made a shoestring catch at his own 5-yard line.
Two plays later Sharrio lofted a sideline pass to Moore, who caught the ball at his own 30, avoided a tackle, and raced up the right sideline for a 95-yard TD. Stephen Camarro tacked on the extra point to stretch the lead to 9-0 and make it a two possession game.
“Jack made a great throw over my outside shoulder,” said Moore. “It was one that either I was going to catch or nobody would. Their kid tackled me high, and I managed to stay on my feet, break loose, and use my speed. This one wasn’t easy because they were so tough on defense, especially Mo (Hurst).”