St. John's Eagles Football '07

Fri, Sep 28, 2007 07:00 PM @ St. John's
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Brockton 0 13 0 6 19
St. John's 0 7 0 7 14

Night time not the right time for St. John's Prep in loss to Brockton

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Friday, September, 28 By Jean DePlacido

DANVERS | For the first time ever, the St. John's Prep football team played a home football game under the lights at Cronin Stadium last night.

But visiting Brockton spoiled any hopes of a magical night for the hosts, denying the Eagles a come-from-behind victory by keeping the ball for the last five-and-a-half minutes and hung on for a 19-14 victory.

Senior workhorse running back Josh Marsh ran wild, gaining 245 yards on 31 carries, including a pair of touchdowns under the portable lights that were brought in specifically for this game.

"We're disappointed with the loss, of course, but after what we did last week (a 34-7 home loss against Everett), it was nice to see us fight back (last night)," said Prep head coach Jim O'Leary.

"The kids showed some character here, but the bottom line is that we're 2-2 and need to get it going. Sure, this has been a tough two-game stretch for us, but this is what we do. It doesn't get any easier from here. We have to move on."

The Boxers (3-1) drove 63 yards in 10 plays for their final score, culminating with senior quarterback Vaughn Askew's leap into the end zone from a yard out to put his team ahead, 19-7 with 8:17 remaining in the game. However, the two-point conversion try failed when Peter Neal broke up Sharrieff Hall in the end zone.

The Eagles answered right back with a 54-yard, 7-play scoring drive that was set up by Derek Coppola's 36-yard kickoff return to his own 46-yard line. Prep sophomore running back Brendon Felder gained 22 yards on a reverse, and fullback Patrick Higgins crashed up the middle for 13 more yards.

Three plays later, Higgins walked into the end zone untouched from 2 yards out, and Andy McTeague booted the extra point to close the gap to five points.

"They battled us right to the end," said Brockton coach Peter Colombo. "It's never easy when we play, and we weren't expecting anything different.

"(After the Prep's second touchdown), I didn't want to see the ball back in their hands. But at the end we had a clutch drive, and our big offensive line that has been together for a long time was able to keep it going."

The Boxers put the ball in Marsh's hands, and he kept the drive alive on 4th-and-1 at the Eagles' 25-yard line with a 3-yard gain with just over a minute remaining.

"He's a great high school running back," said Colombo. "Pound-for-pound, he is as strong as anybody we've ever had."

On its first possession St. John's drove to the Boxer 21-yard line before Higgins was hit hard and fumbled. Brockton recovered and marched 79 yards in nine plays, capped by Marsh's 16-yard touchdown run.

"We had that good first drive but didn't get any points," said O'Leary. "They came with the blitz and we turned the ball over. We also had a couple of costly penalties. You just can't make those mistakes against a team like Brockton."

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