DANVERS — Jon Thomas, Alex Moore and their St. John’s Prep football teammates really, really like that home cookin’.
Returning home to Cronin Field for the first time in four weeks, the Eagles celebrated with some offensive fireworks. Before a large Homecoming crowd, they blew out visiting St. John’s of Shrewsbury, 49-8, as Thomas and Moore scored three touchdowns each.
After several weeks of matching up against teams that run power football, the Prep (5-1) feasted defensively against the Pioneers’ spread offense. When they had the football, the Eagles also flourished, with Thomas running for 235 yards on just 17 carries while Moore got his team off and running with two first quarter scores.
He intercepted an Andrew Smiley pass and five plays later blasted into the end zone from three yards out. Stephen Camarro, who was a perfect 7 for 7 on point after attempts, made it 7-0.
Moore hauled in a Sharrio pass and raced 54 yards for his second touchdown with 4:30 still left in the opening quarter. Conor Powers delivered a solid hit on Shadrach Abrokwah on ensuing kickoff return, causing him to fumble, and the Eagles recovered. They drove to the Pioneers’ 5-yard line before fumbling, but scored again on their next possession with Thomas crashing in from five yards out.
Thomas, who had 235 yards rushing on 17 carries, struck again after Sean Smerczynski recovered a fumble. This time, the hard-charging back went 68 yards, changing directions from the middle of the field to the outside, and by halftime the Eagles were in total command, 35-0, after Moore outran everybody for a 44-yard score. That play came right after Anthony Bongiorno’s 25-yard catch.
“Offensively, we can be explosive at times,” said Prep coach Jim O’Leary after his team improved to 5-1 and now has a bye week. “I was disappointed early when they blocked our punt, but we got the ball right back with the interception.