St. John’s made it 14-0 with two minutes remaining in the half, marching 80 yards behind the running of Thomas and Moore. Sharrio’s bootleg pass to Thomas out of the backfield resulted in a 15-yard touchdown.
Just before the half, Catholic Memorial (2-5) quarterback Pat Shore completed a 22-yard pass to his favorite receiver, Dejion Evans, who was stopped at the 1-yard line. The Eagles came up with a great goal line stand to keep CM out of the end zone despite being whistled for an offside call than moved the ball even closer. On the final play of the half, Darren Wagner tried to leap over the top of the pile but was stopped short.
“That defensive stand right before halftime made the difference,” said O’Leary. “Their kid made an athletic play on the pick, but our defense came up big. Otherwise it was a 14-7 game with a lot of momentum going their way.
“There were some big hits out there. I like to measure the intensity by the noises. The kids were excited and we were tired of hitting each other during (last week’s bye).”
The Eagles took command on the opening drive of the third quarter, going 80 yards with Moore’s 3-yard run capping it off. From there, the Prep defense took command as captain Lucas Bavaro exerted great pressure on Shore. The Knights’ QB was also sacked three times by Anthony Bongiorno, Sean Smerczynski, and Cam O’Meara.
The final Prep touchdown came late in the third quarter when Moore scored his third TD of the game on a 7-yard run.
O’Leary praised assistant coaches Jameson Pelky and Paul Uva for doing a nice job with the play calling. The Eagles gained 378 total yards, 312 of them on the ground.
O’Leary went to his bench after the last Prep touchdown, and Michael Geaslen took over at quarterback. Freshman tailback Ian Kessel looked good running the ball, gained 34 yards on eight carries.
CM’s only score came with just over two minutes remaining when Shore fired a 29-yard strike to Chris Samuel.