By Jean DePlacido
---- — BROCKTON — The pelting rain didn't help either team's passing game last night, but if the St. John's Prep football was going to win it would be because of its strong running game.
The running back tandem of Johnny Thomas and Alex Moore were nearly unstoppable, combining for 350 yards to guide the Eagles to a 27-12 victory over host Brockton at Marciano Stadium.
The Prep (3-1) had two fumble recoveries thanks to Lucas Bavaro and Michael Fawehinmi, which set up the Eagles final scoring drive to put the game away.
"We were coming off a tough loss to Everett last week," said head coach Jim O'Leary. "It's good to bounce back like this. We couldn't throw the ball, but Thomas and Moore were terrific running for us. I was very happy with the play of our special teams and it was great battle in the second half, despite the weather."
Moore had a huge 70-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter, which gave the Eagles a ton of momentum to take their first lead of the game, 7-6.
Brockton scored both of its touchdowns in the first quarter as quarterback Austin Roberts rushed for one of the scores. Roberts ran the ball in from five yards out, but was injured and had to be carried off the field. Up until the injury, Roberts was the Boxers leading rusher (63 yards), but was unable to return to game action. Roberts came into the game with over 300 rushing yards from the previous three contests and his presence was missed by Brockton.
Before halftime, Thomas ran in two more scores for the Prep on a combined 50-yards on the pair of touchdowns.
"It was a tough night, the ball was very slippery," said Thomas. "The ball was just so hard to hold onto. Our offensive line did a great job clearing out huge holes for Alex and I.
"We made mistakes last week against Everett and we were determined to come out and execute."
The Prep managed to hold onto the football and worked the game clock down, going on long scoring drives on the ground.
Thomas ran in the Prep's final touchdown in the third quarter and after that, it was all about stopping Brockton's late push. Thomas finished with 221 yards rushing on 24 carries, while Moore followed up with 134 yards on a dozen rushes.