WESTWOOD, Mass.-- Xaverian was able to stop Catholic Memorial on their first drive of Saturday's game, but after that, the No. 5 Knights pretty much had their way with the ball, defeating the No. 13 Hawks, 33-11.
CM quarterback A.J. Doyle had 12 rushes for 72 yards and one touchdown while throwing for 167 yards and three scores.
"A.J.'s a really good player, he's a great competitor, has got good size and runs hard," Xaverian head coach Charlie Stevenson said. "We would have like to try and tackle him a little lower."
Even when Doyle was not coming out of the backfield, he had numerous receivers who he could throw to, giving the Knights many offensive attack options and not giving Xaverian much of a chance to hold them for a prolonged period of time.
"The big thing was that we didn't make them go three and out at any point in time," added Stevenson.
LINEBACKERS IN THE CROSSHAIRS?
When most quarterbacks move out of the pocket, they are looking to avoid contact and if they make it to the linebacker corps will slide - but A.J. Doyle seeks out defenders and tries to hit them - while he is running the ball.
"I worry about the linebackers," CM head coach Alex Campea said. "He's not going to shy away that. He's going to make certain that he is going to get that extra yard."
Doyle did not slide once today and he makes it clear why.
"You see the size of me, I'm not afraid to get hit, I've never been afraid to get hit, I've played this way since I started Pop Warner," Doyle said.
Some players square up and brace for a hit from Doyle as he comes across the line of scrimmage while others yield to the 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback and let him go along his way.
HAMEL'S HANDS - A COACH'S DREAM
A.J. Doyle can run the ball or throw - and has plenty of receivers and backers to choose from. On Saturday, he found senior Brandon Hamel twice for touchdown passes. According to Doyle, he chose his target carefully and with good reason.
"Hamel knows how to get open, plain and simple. He can catch the ball in any spot, probably best hands on the team as well. He's not going to burn you with his speed but he's going to get open and you can count on him to make a catch."
Campea seconded the notion that Hamel has the best hands on a talented CM team as well as a good football intelligence.
"He's the kid who catches the snap from center when we're kicking field goals and PATs, he runs great routes, he always understands where he's supposed to be," Campea said.
Sophomore Kevin Bletzer was everywhere on the field today, coming up with an interception that set up CM's third touchdown, four tackles and a sack. As a sophomore, he is proving himself to be an asset to the team, but like any sophomore, he doesn't get any more credit than he deserves, maybe less since he is still coming of age.
"He's making some plays but he is still learning," said Doyle. "Once he gets to be a senior he's going to be a scary player."
Bletzer attributes his ability to make plays today to the game prep that coaches put in during the week.
"The coaches draw up this great game plan for us and I just do what I'm told and I'm there in the right place making tackles and making interceptions."
Bletzer also earned points for his Batman-esque face paint, but it doesn't earn him any respect from Campea...
CAMPEA DOESN'T CARE FOR COSMETICS
"As far as the face paint, these guys think that it's Halloween every time we have a game, they have a different kind of face paint. I tell them they can do whatever they want as long as they play the way they are supposed to."
CATH. MEM. (7-1) – 6 21 0 6 -- 33
XAVERIAN (5-5) – 0 3 0 8 – 11
C – Armani Reeves 92 run (kick blocked)
C – Brandon Hamel 35 pass from A.J. Doyle (Michael Keane kick)
X – Jules Murphy 32 FG
C – David Berment 61 pass from Doyle (Keane kick)
C – Hamel 28 pass from Doyle (Keane kick)
X – Chris Calvanese 37 pass from Austin DeCarr (Mike Warren rush)
C – Doyle 12 rush (kick failed)