ST. JOE'S PREP 35, NORTH PENN 6
After an uplifting triumph in Texas and a sobering defeat in North Jersey, St. Joseph's Prep quarterback Chris Martin said it was good to be back on home soil.
Martin and the Hawks' other offensive playmakers looked comfortable from the get-go Saturday night at Plymouth Whitemarsh, striking for five first-half touchdowns in a 35-6 romp over undermanned North Penn.
While directing a no-huddle, fast-paced attack in the opening 24 minutes, Martin, a second-year starter, completed 12 of 16 passes for 162 yards. His only real slip-up was an early red-zone interception.
"I've been running this offense since my sophomore year, so I have a pretty good feel for it," said the 5-foot-10, 185-pound captain, who watched Prep's reserve QBs play in the second half.
After opening with a 48-27 win over Dallas Jesuit, the Hawks endured a 42-0 drubbing last week at the hands of perennial power Don Bosco Prep.
"The biggest question coming into this one was how we were going to respond," Martin said. "We didn't doubt our team or our abilities."
Martin was held to 80 yards passing versus Don Bosco. "We just couldn't convert on third down," he said. "There were some passes I should have completed."
Against North Penn, Martin mostly spread the ball among five skill guys: running backs Vince Moffett, Olamide Zaccheaus and De'Andre Swift, handyman John Reid, and wide receiver Jawan McAllister.
On the Prep's first series of the night, Martin's 33-yard toss to McAllister set up Moffett's 35-yard TD burst. Midway through the second quarter, his connections with Reid (24 yards) and Dillon DeIuliis (11) paved the way for Zaccheaus' 4-yard score.
Late in the first half, Martin's screen pass to Swift resulted in a 31-yard TD that put the Hawks (2-1) in front, 28-0.
What does Prep boss Gabe Infante like most about Martin, who is a third baseman in baseball? "His poise and calmness," the coach said. "Nothing rattles him. He's very consistent."
The Hawks' defense held the Knights (0-3) to 29 yards rushing and 116 passing through three quarters. The headliners included linemen Joe DuMond (first-quarter sack) and Jake Strain, linebackers Shawn Harris and Ryan McNulty, and free safety Colin Nedbal.
The Prep has a week off before opening Catholic League Class AAAA play against Roman Catholic.
"We know it's a process," Infante said. "We have a young team. We haven't played any cupcakes so far. I think it helps our kids develop."
In the late going, North Penn averted a shutout on Austin Shearer's 22-yard TD pass to wideout Justin Hudimac.
North Penn 0 0 0 6-6
St. Joseph's Prep 8 27 0 0-35
SJP: Vince Moffett 35 run (Ryan McNulty pass from Jawan McAllister)
SJP: Olamide Zaccheaus 16 run (Pat Walsh kick)
SJP: Zaccheaus 4 run (kick failed)
SJP: De'Andre Swift 31 pass from Chris Martin (Walsh kick)
SJP: John Reid 21 run (Walsh kick)
NP: Justin Hudimac 22 pass from Austin Shearer (kick failed)
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