The battle for the top spot in the Catholic Conference featured a pair of hard-hitting defenses, and both Xaverian and BC High forced two turnovers in the heavyweight bout.
But it was the Hawks who were able to capitalize and generate points from their opponents’ miscues, as Xaverian shut out host BC High, 19-0.
The No. 4 Hawks improved to 6-1 (3-0), and gained sole possession of first place in the conference. The ninth-ranked Eagles fell to 4-3 (2-1), tied with St. John’s Prep.
BC High holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over St. John’s Prep, and as of Friday night, Xaverian ranked first in Division 1 South, according to the state power rankings, while BC High was fourth.
“It was a tough game, a very physical game,” said Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson, who returned to the sideline after being hospitalized during the week. “Our defense was big for us all night long. They had to come through for us a couple times.”
In the first half, Xaverian forced four consecutive three and outs. Three times, BC High punted deep in its own zone and gave Xaverian the ball on the Eagles’ side of the 50.
With 6:04 to play in the first half, fullback Kenny Kern (76 rushing yards) broke a 32-yard run to give Xaverian a 6-0 lead.
In the third, BC High linebacker Steve Roche intercepted Jake Farrell and returned it to the Xaverian 30, but the Hawks defense tightened and forced a turnover on downs.
Kern fumbled on the ensuing drive, giving the Eagles another chance to tie the game. But quarterback Sean Holleran fumbled, and Kern returned it to the BC High 20. An Eagles unsportsmanlike penalty brought it to the 10, and Shayne Kaminski capped the drive with a 2-yard score to make it 12-0 with 9:19 to play.