Thanksgiving football preview: Xaverian at St. John's Prep

St. John's Prep's Joenel Aguero (left) and Gus McGee celebrated the Division 1 North championship win over Central Catholic with their teammates — something they hope to be doing again Thanksgiving morning against long time rival Xaverian.Photo/Reba Saldanha 

XAVERIAN (4-6) At ST. JOHN'S PREP (9-1)

All-time Thanksgiving series: Xaverian leads, 30-20

Xaverian Points For/Points Against avg.: 25.2 PF, 31.0 PA

St. John's Prep Points For/Points Against avg.: 31.6 PF, 12.3 PA

Xaverian's top players: Mike Berluti, Jr. QB (118- for-198, 12 TDs, 96 yards rushing, 4 TDs); Joe Kelcourse, Soph. RB (129 rushes, 581 yards, 6 TDs); Demetri Tsoumbanos, Sr. WR (27 rec., 421, 6 TDs); Justin Wenstrom, Sr. FB (26 rec., 413, 1 TD); Dylan Reilly, Jr. WR (26 rec., 348 yards, 4 TDs)

St. John's Prep's top players: Matt Crowley, Sr. QB (73-for-126,1,451 yards, 15 TDs); James Guy, Soph. RB (144 rushes, 755, 11 TDs); Matt Duchemin, Sr., WR/CB (27 rec., 686, 7 TDs); Jackson Delaney, Soph. WR (25 rec., 447, 7 TDs Collin Taylor, Jr. DE (more than 12 sacks); Cooper Smith, G/DT; Mason Davis, Sr. OT/DT; Anthony Fagan, Sr. TE/DE

Xaverian's keys to victory: Keep Crowley and Prep offense off the field with ball control drives. This will be the Hawks' Super Bowl after a disappointing season. Only once since 2011 has this game been played without one team going on to the Bowl.

St. John's Prep's keys to victory: The hosts need to be balanced between running and passing while continuing to play strong team defense. The Eagles can't look past the Hawks to the Super Bowl on Dec. 7 because Xaverian has had their number recently, including two wins by a total of three points. The Prep players haven't forgotten last year's upset loss to the Hawks at Fenway Park, either.

Potential Unsung Heroes: Pat Nistl, a Prep senior running back/safety, flies under the radar but has been consistently a solid two-way player who stepped up with Guy was hurt earlier this fall. Seniors Nick Baldini at linebacker and two-way tackle Mason Davis are also good choices. For the Hawks Mike Oates, a freshman running back (66 rushes, 400 yards, 8 TDs), or senior wide receiver Demetri Tsoumbanos could have big games.

St. John's Prep seniors: Nick Baldini, LB; John Bartholomew, FB/LB; Sean Bellamy, WR/DB; Cole Collins, FB/LB; Riley Connell, TE/LB; Tripp Clark, TE/LB; Matt Crowley, QB; Mason Davis, OT/DT; Dan DeLaus, WR/DB/P; Matt Duchemin, WR/DB; Liam Fabbri, K/DB; Anthony Fagan, TE/DE; John Fallon, FB/LB; Mike Fionda, G/DE; Theo Hutt, G/DT; Nate Marconi, OL/DL; Nick Masterson, FB/DE; Jack McDonald, OL/DL; Pat Nistl, RB/DB; Kieran Patch, TE/DE; Jim Schneiders, RB/LB; Cooper Smith, G/DT; Matt Stewart, RB/DB; Antonio Zarur, WR/DB

ST. JOHN'S PREP OFFENSE

No. Name Yr. Pos.

20 Matt Duchemin Sr. WR

65 Mason Davis Sr. LT

50 Theo Hutt Sr. LG

61 Nick Barrett Jr. C

72 Cooper Smith Sr. RG

52 Peter Wiehe Jr. RT

85 Anthony Fagan Sr. TE

14 Jackson Delaney Soph. WR

10 Matt Crowley Sr. QB

44 Nick Masterson Sr. FB

26 James Guy Soph. RB

ST. JOHN'S PREP DEFENSE

No. Name Yr. Pos.

85 Anthony Fagan Sr. DE

or 87 Mike Fionda Sr. DE

72 Cooper Smith Sr. DT

57 Jack McDonald Sr. DT

55 Collin Taylor Jr. DE

 2 Dylan Wodarski Soph. LB

32 Nick Baldini Sr. MLB

15 Jonathan Bunnell Jr. LB

 4 Matt Mitchell Soph. CB

 5 Pat Nistl Sr. S

13 Joenel Aguero Fr. S

20 Matt Duchemin Sr. CB

XAVERIAN OFFENSE

No. Name Yr. Pos.

 1 Dylan Reilly Jr. WR

65 Colin Howe Sr. LT

77 Rocco Basso Sr. LG

52 Luke Ferguson Jr. C

51 Anilson Rocha Jr. RG

74 Noah Eldridge Jr. RT

10 Noah Canty Jr. TE

 7 Henry Fleckner Jr. WR

 8 Mike Berluti Jr. QB

22 Justin Wenstrom Sr. FB

27 Thomas Garland Jr. RB

XAVERIAN DEFENSE

No. Name Yr. Pos.

43 Mike McGough Sr. DE

99 Mike Degloria Sr. DT

65 Colin Howe Sr. DT

86 Sam Maloof Jr. DE

27 Thomas Garland Jr. LB

35 Vince Gilchrist Jr. LB

10 Noah Canty Jr. LB

 1 Dylan Reilly Jr. CB

11 John Asack Sr. FS

22 Justin Wenstrom Sr. SS

 7 Henry Fleckner Jr. CB

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