WALTHAM – The St. John’s Prep offense is known for its rushing attack, which is spearheaded by junior Johnathan Thomas and senior Alex Moore.
But against Brockton’s stout run defense, St. John’s Prep coach Jim O’Leary turned to quarterback Jack Sharrio.
Sharrio delivered, needing just five completions to throw for 123 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles throttled Brockton, 48-28, to capture the Division 1 Super Bowl Saturday at Bentley University.
The title was St. John’s Prep’s first since 1997.
“They wanted to stop our run, and we spread them out a little bit and Jack threw the ball successfully,” O’Leary said. “When you do that, we’re very difficult to stop.”
On the second play from scrimmage, Sharrio hit Thomas on a wheel route and the speedy back tore up the sideline for a 33-yard score 50 seconds into the game.
“We were so amped up before the game, and that showed on the field,” Sharrio said. “We don’t pass much, but we threw the ball a lot more than we have in the past and I felt really confident.”
The Eagles forced Brockton on a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, then Lucas Bavaro blocked Austin Roberts’s punt attempt. Senior Jake Anemoduris recovered and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead three minutes into the contest.
“We work very hard on [special teams] all year long and you have to do that, it’s so important,” O’Leary said.
The Boxers answered with a 6-yard TD run from Moise Edouard, but Gerald Kahari took the wind out of Brockton’s sails with an 85-yard kick return to make it 20-6 with three minutes left in the first quarter.
“I didn’t see much,” Kahari said. “I just ran to the left side because that was where it was designed to go, but then I saw a lane out to the right, so I just cut and ran as fast as I could.”
The Eagles (11-1) buried Brockton in the second quarter, scoring three more touchdowns.
Thomas (15 carries, 68 yards) scored from 2 yards, then Sharrio hit Alex Moore on a 58-yard TD to make it 34-6 with 4:15 remaining in the first half.
Brockton (9-4) answered when Roberts hit Micah Morel with a 59-yard score to make it 34-12, but Sharrio scored on a 1-yard rush to push the Eagles lead to 41-12 at the half.
In the third quarter, Roberts tried to make a pitch to Edouard but the ball was fumbled, and Moore scooped it for a 19-yard touchdown return to make it 48-12 with 2:31 to play in the quarter.
With 5:42 remaining, Ricardo Calixte added a 1-yard score for Brockton, then Edouard added a 48-yard score, putting barely a dent in the deficit.
“There’s no better feeling than being Division 1 football champions,” Thomas said. “It doesn’t get better than that. This is what we’ve been working for all year.”