ST. JOSEPH'S PREP 31, ARCHBISHOP WOOD 21
In the early going, it looked as if Archbishop Wood's stout offensive line, which was providing gaping holes for speedy tailback Jarrett McClenton, might gradually beat St. Joseph's Prep into submission.
But after allowing three touchdowns in the opening 14 minutes of Saturday night's Catholic League cross-division clash, the Hawks quieted the Vikings from there and emerged from William Tennent's Claude Lodge Field with an impressive 31-21 triumph.
"Wood is a great football team, and we like to schedule great football teams," Prep coach Gabe Infante said. "It was great to see our guys respond like that in a big game. We took another step forward."
Down by 21-14 at the break, the Hawks, who came in ranked No. 5 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, held No. 3 Wood to three first downs the rest of the way.
Olamide Zaccheaus was the catalyst on offense. The quick-footed junior and Division I-A prospect produced three scores. His 4-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter gave the Prep its first lead.
"We thought this could be a week where we could really utilize him," Infante said. "We thought he would be pretty fresh."
Late in the third quarter, Zaccheaus hauled in a 6-yard, right-side TD pass from Chris Martin to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive and forge a 21-21 deadlock.
Zaccheaus' third and deciding score was set up by linebacker Ryan McNulty's interception and Martin's 24-yard keeper out of a shotgun formation. With just under five minutes to play, Pat Walsh concluded an 11-play series with a 33-yard field goal.
The Hawks (4-1 overall, 1-0 Catholic League Class AAAA) mostly spread the ball among five players: Zaccheaus, Martin, Vince Moffett, John Reid, and De'Andre Swift.
"We have a great group of backs," Infante said. "It's a real blessing for us. We can rotate guys in there."
Early in the second quarter, McClenton (17 carries for 170 yards) escaped for scores of 80 and 24 yards to give the Vikings (5-1, 1-0 Catholic League Class AAA) a 21-7 advantage. The hosts netted 283 rushing yards on 23 attempts before the break.
"Wood is always very physical," Infante said. "I was worried about us being able to much up with them. When we fell behind, we just wanted to stay the course and climb back in the game."
St. Joseph's Prep 7 7 7 10-31
Archbishop Wood 7 14 0 0-21
AW: Tom Garlick 9 run (Dan McDonald kick)
SJP: John Reid 23 pass from Chris Martin (Pat Walsh kick)
AW: Jarrett McClenton 24 run (McDonald kick)
AW: McClenton 80 run (McDonald kick)
SJP: Olamide Zaccheaus 36 run (Walsh kick)
SJP: Zaccheaus 6 pass from Martin (Walsh kick)
SJP: Zaccheaus 4 run (Walsh kick)
SJP: FG Walsh 33