High-SchoolNew-York: Fordham Prep

St. Anthony's wins third straight state football title

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
4:29
PM ET
Like their chances entering the season, St. Anthony's third straight football championship was never in question.

The Friars shutout Archbishop Stepinac, 14-0, to run their undefeated streak to 21 games and capture their third consecutive CHSFL AAA title on Friday. Defensive lineman Pat McHugh, who was named MVP, and defensive back Tim Stackpole, who forced a fumble that Anthony Leggio returned 61 yards for the decisive score, proved to be the defensive difference makers. For more, check out this game story from ESPNNewYork.

*In AA title action, Fordham Prep outlasted Kellenberg with a late two-point conversion for the second time this season. Logan Williamson found Jarred Moorer in the back of the end zone with 18 seconds remaining to seal a 22-21 victory. The outcome marked the Rams' first-ever AA championship. Kellenberg star QB Matt McDaniels racked up 343 rushing yards, including an 80-yard score on the first play, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Rams' timely defensive plays.

*Defending PSAL champ Fort Hamilton lost 16-8 in the second round to DeWitt Clinton. The Tigers had been fighting an uphill battle since losing QB Marvin Centeno to a season-ending shoulder injury a few weeks ago and backup Travon Reid Segure to a torn ACL. Tailback Robert Thomas did what he could to put the Tigers in contention, but Clinton pulled away behind a 79-yard punt return score by Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong. The Governors' win puts them the semifinal round for the first time since 1989.

*Hornell pushed its win streak to 38 games by downing Chittenango, 35-27, in the Class B semifinals. The Red Raiders will go for their third straight championship this weekend against Croton-Harmon in the Carrier Dome.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

St. Anthony's looks for 10th football title in 11 years

November, 18, 2011
11/18/11
12:36
PM ET
Championship football is upon us, meaning dreams will be realized and crushed simultaneously, often in thrilling fashion.

So was the case Thursday when St. Joe's Collegiate and St. Francis faced off for the MMA title. The Marauders entered with the upper hand after beating the Red Raiders earlier this season. Plus, Chad Kelly was attempting to become the first QB in state history to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in the same season. The Elite 11 quarterback gained 325 total yards to surpass the mark, but in the all-important contest, the Marauders came up short, falling 37-16.

Star tailback Akeel Lynch, who missed their first meeting with an injury, scored on the first play from scrimmage with 62-yard run. The senior finished with 164 yards and two scores, giving him a school-record 2,131 yards for the season, but a turf toe injury sidelined him for most of the second half. But the Red Raiders didn't skip a beat, as Alex Misterman (153 rushing yards, one TD) scored to give them an insurmountable 23-8 halftime lead.

St. Anthony's vs. Archbishop Stepinac
The championship bouts will continue tonight as St. Anthony's battles Archbishop Stepinac in hopes of winning its 10th CHSFL AAA title in the last 11 years. The Friars, who have reached the last 13 title games, enter as the hands-down favorite after beating the Crusaders, 55-29. Friday's contest is likely to be a bit closer, but with the Friars' experience and wealth of talent, my guess is they will once again hoist the trophy at night's end.
My pick: St. Anthony's 35, Archbishop Stepinac 24

Kellenberg vs. Fordham Prep
This one is bound to be a bit closer than the AAA final, as these two teams already played a classic matchup earlier in the season. Then, Fordham Prep pulled out a 29-28 win on a late two-point conversion. The Rams lost four straight following that thriller, but have righted the ship to reach tonight's AA championship. The question here will be, is two better than one? Kellenberg relies heavily on standout QB Matt McDaniels while Fordham Prep uses a dual-QB approach with James Drago and Logan Williamson.
My pick: Fordham Prep 24, Kellenberg 21

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Fall postseason update

November, 16, 2011
11/16/11
3:08
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Each week, readers of this space have been updated on the progress of the state's top football teams, but we both know there have been some intense playoff battles going on in the other fall sports of soccer and cross country. So here's an update of how things are going and have shaken out:

SOCCER
*After failing to reach the PSAL final for the first time in 15 years, MLK returned to the throne of New York city soccer by beating Francis Lewis, 3-2. Ibrahim Diaby provided the decisive goal, scoring on a header in the 69th minute to give the Knights their 13th crown in the last 16 seasons. The Knights now possess the No. 5 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

*Fordham Prep won its first-ever CHSAA title, defeating St. John the Baptist, 2-1, in the AA final. Dylan Cope and Spencer Heitmann provided both goals while sophomore GK Mark Rajovic had six key saves in the win.

*Top-seeded JFK copped the PSAL Class B crown as Edwin Munoz netted a goal in double overtime to secure a 1-0 win against Washington Irving.

*After Baldwinsville pulled off a major upset by downing previously undefeated Fayetteville-Manlius, Shenendehowa Central knocked off Baldwinsville to debut in the POWERADE FAB 50 at No. 11 and move into the Class AA semifinals against Hicksville, which is now ranked No. 12 in the nation.

CROSS COUNTRY
*Nick Ryan helped cement his status as arguably the top runner in the state by easily winning the Class A title at the NYSPHSAA cross country state meet in a time of 16:28.4. The Fayetteville-Manlius junior was joined on the medal stand by senior teammate Matt Deyo (third-place time of 16:58.5) and Victor senior M.J. Erb (second-place time of 16:54.8). As a result, the Hornets won the team title by a slim margin of 63-64 over Rush-Henrietta.

*The statewide Federation meet will take place this Saturday, Nov. 19 at Bowdoin Park, followed by the NXN NY regional meet the following weekend. In the meantime, click here for more NYSPHSAA coverage from Dyestat.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Holy Cross shoots for upset of No. 1 St. Anthony's in Week 3 NY football

September, 30, 2011
9/30/11
2:03
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It's been a pleasantly surprising start to the season for Holy Cross. A win against Xaverian along with coach Tom Pugh;s 200th victory last week highlights the Knights' 3-0 start, but nothing would top a victory against defending CHSFL champ and current No. 1 St. Anthony's (2-0).

The Knights have homefield advantage and a solid defensive attack, but quite frankly, most of the odds are stacked against them. The Friars boast tons of experience and depth — both of which were witnessed last week when Anthony Anderson stepped in for the injured Dariyan Riley to rush for 136 yards in a 51-0 rout of Fordham Prep. Riley is expected back this week and the Friars' defense is evolving into midseason form. Don't get wrong — Holy Cross will put up a fight, but this bout will end in a 22nd straight victory for the Friars.
My pick: St. Anthony's 35, Holy Cross 17

No. 8 St. Joe's Collegiate (3-1) at No. 4 St. Francis (3-1)
Just two weeks after facing No. 2 Aquinas Institute, St. Francis comes up against another strong team in St. Joe's Collegiate. Both teams possess big-time playmakers, with St. Francis anchored by Akeel Lynch (705 rushing yards and seven scores despite missing a game a half with injury) and the Marauders led by Elite 11 QB Chad Kelly. Ironically, this will be the first time these two will play on the same field. Last year, an injury held out Lynch, as Kelly went off for five scores in an easy win. And the year before that, Kelly was still playing in Pennsylvania, as Lynch had a career-high five touchdowns in victory. What's more is that both teams only loss came to No. 2 Aquinas Institute. Like Lynch, Kelly has been off to a great start, totaling 14 TDs through the air and on the ground. In other words, this matchup is primed to be a shootout.
My pick: St. Francis 38, St. Joe's Collegiate 35

Xaverian (2-1) at No. 9 Iona Prep (3-0)
Last week was the Justin Combs show, as Diddy's son stepped in at quarterback to score three touchdowns for the surging Gaels in a 28-7 win against Monsignor Farrell. The Gaels will need a similar effort from the versatile starter this week against a tough Xaverian squad. Quarterback Isaiah Kearney (a total of 644 yards and seven TDs) will keep the Gaels defense on its heels, but ultimately, I think Iona Prep's offense of Combs, Mario Biaggi and Shaquille Townsend will be too much for the Clippers.
My pick: Iona Prep 28, Xaverian 20

No. 3 Tottenville (3-0) at Erasmus Hall (1-2)
Many thought this game would be a matchup of undefeateds, but Erasmus Hall has sputtered in its first three games. Despite boasting All-State DB Wayne Morgan, the Dutchmen defense has struggled, surrendering 17 second-half points in a loss to Campus Magnet and 30 points last week against Clinton. Tottenville, on the other hand, has cruised to a 3-0 start behind the three-headed monster of QB Brandon Barnes, RB Augustus Edwards and WR Alvin Cornelius. The good news for Erasmus Hall is talented enough to rebound and still contend for a state title. The bad news is that Tottenville easily beat Clinton a few weeks ago and won't let up tonight.
My pick: Tottenville 31, Erasmus Hall 17

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

St. Anthony’s strengthens hold on top spot in Week 3 NY rankings

September, 26, 2011
9/26/11
1:49
PM ET
Last Friday, I mentioned there were some doubts about St. Anthony's ability to live up to its high standard since injuries have taken their toll on the Friars. But the top-ranked squad silenced those thoughts with a 51-0 rout of Fordham Prep. In the win, the Friars displayed their depth, subbing in Anthony Anderson (136 rushing yards and one score) for injured starting RB Dariyan Riley. Granted, Rich Reichert's squad would love to have Riley back for this week's test against a surging Holy Cross program.

The rankings remained steady this week, with William Floyd bouncing back from a loss last week. But the Colonials should be on guard, as Holy Cross is knocking on the door.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

As of Saturday, Sept. 24

1. St. Anthony's (South Huntington) 2-0 (1)
Even without standout running back Dariyan Riley (ankle), the Friars silenced the doubters with a 51-0 rout of Fordham Prep. Next up: Holy Cross.

2. Aquinas Institute (Rochester) 4-0 (2)
The Little Irish keep on rolling as they shut out McQuaid Jesuit, 42-0, last week. A matchup against Corning is next.

3. Tottenville (Staten Island) 3-0 (3)
The Pirates looked scary good last week, as Augustus Edwards scored four times and Alvin Cornelius added punt and kick return touchdowns in a 49-6 rout of John Adams. The Pirates face Wayne Morgan-led Erasmus Hall this week.

Click here for full POWERADE New York weekly football rankings.

Fordham Prep bids for upset against St. Anthony's in Week 2 NY football

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
4:45
PM ET
Up until this week, it appeared No. 1 St. Anthony's couldn't get a break.

In the offseason, Sean McDonaugh, who was supposed to replace the graduated Charlie Raffa at quarterback, went down with a season-ending back injury. Then the replacement, Pete Carew, sprained his ankle and standout defensive lineman Bryan Rhodes tweaked his hamstring. If that wasn't enough, after Hurricane Irene cancelled the season opener, tailback Dariyan Riley left last week's game with a foot injury.

Fortunately for the Friars, Riley is OK and they beat Monsignor Farrell to extend their current win streak to 20 games. But the road doesn't get any easier, as they travel to face a tough Fordham Prep squad. The Rams have breezed to a 2-0 start behind quarterback James McHale and tailback Logan Williamson (four touchdowns). Their defense should test Carew at quarterback, but the balance and experience of the Friars should help them pull out the win.
My pick: St. Anthony's 20, Fordham Prep 14

No. 6 Fort Hamilton (2-0) at Boys & Girls (1-1)
The regular-season win streak is at 34 for the Tigers, thanks Travon Reid Segure blocking a potential game-tying field goal against Campus Magnet last week. The defending PSAL champs will be tested again versus Boys & Girls, although the Kangaroos looked a bit out of sorts last week after showing promise in the opener. Boys & Girls has a playmaker in quarterback Keon Marsh, but it probably won't be enough to hang with the Tigers' strong rushing game behind Segure and quarterback Marvin Centeno.
My pick: Fort Hamilton 28, Boys & Girls 14

Erasmus Hall (1-1) at Clinton (1-1)
The last time these two teams met, Clinton pulled off the upset in the 20-16 upset in the first round of the PSAL playoffs. Match that with the sting from blowing a 13-point fourth quarter lead to Campus Magnet in the opener and you've got a vengeful team in Erasmus Hall. Clinton struggled to slow the talented Tottenville tandem (say that three times fast) of QB Brandon Barnes and WR Alvin Cornelius, and with All-State player Wayne Morgan leading the Dutchmen, it could be another long game for Clinton.
My pick: Erasmus Hall 21, Clinton 10

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Aquinas Institute drops St. Francis, Iona Prep debuts in Week 2 NY rankings

September, 19, 2011
9/19/11
5:36
PM ET
With Hurricane Irene long gone, the state's top team was finally able to get into action last week. And St. Anthony's didn't disappoint, beating Monsignor Farrell, 41-26. Sure, there were signs of rust and backup quarterback Pete Carew is still adjusting to his new starting role, but a conference win is a conference win. The road doesn't get any easier though, as the Friars face a 2-0 Fordham Prep squad on the road.

Aquinas Institute continued to build its case for the top slot, beating previous No. 3 St. Francis, 34-20. Xaverian wasn't as fortunate, falling to Holy Cross and, as a result, out of rankings. A surging Iona Prep took the Clippers' spot and then some, earning the No. 9 spot, thanks to a loss by William Floyd.

Here's how the state rankings shake out this week:

1. St. Anthony's (South Huntington) 1-0 (1)
The Friars finally got their season underway, beating Monsignor Farrell by a score of 41-26. The loss came with some bad news, though, as running back Dariyan Riley left the game early with an ankle injury. Next up: a tough Fordham Prep squad.

2. Aquinas Institute (Rochester) 3-0 (2)
The Little Irish showed their mettle once again against a top-10 squad, this time beating former No. 3 St. Francis High, 34-20. A battle against McQuaid Jesuit is next on the schedule.

3. Tottenville (Staten Island) 2-0 (4)
The Pirates rolled to a 21-0 victory against Clinton behind three touchdown throws from Brandon Barnes to Alvin Cornelius. Next up: Adams.

Click here for the full POWERADE New York weekly rankings.

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