The injuries continue to add up, but Catholic Memorial got back on track with winning football.
The second-ranked Knights welcomed Western New York power St. Francis to West Roxbury Saturday morning for an out-of-state battle, and prevailed 50-36, on the strength of their offensive line and running game.
A week after starting tailback Mekhi Dodd and defensive backs Eric Perkins and DJ Overall went down with potential season-ending injuries in a loss to Cardinal Newman in West Palm Beach, the Knights lost linebacker David Timson to an ankle injury and had a scare when Notre Dame-bound lineman Guerby Lambert went down briefly in the fourth quarter.
“We have very little depth,” said CM coach John DiBiaso. “We go from seniors and juniors down to sophomores and freshman real fast. I hope they mature and I hope they mature fast. We can hang in there, and hopefully we get some of these guys back later in the season.”
Quick turnaround for Sat. 🏈:— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) September 23, 2023
No. 2 Catholic Memorial (1-1) welcomes NY power St. Francis (0-3) in another out-of-state matchup. @GlobeSchools
St Francis (@SFHS_Athletics) is coming off a 6OT thriller at Cathedral Prep. Long trip back to Hamburg, NY after this test ⛈️ pic.twitter.com/uYDZROwxbO
Coming off an incredible 78-72 setback at Cathedral Prep (Pa.) that lasted six overtimes, St. Francis (0-4) looked sharp early with junior quarterback Landon Welka connecting on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Neely. The visiting Red Raiders traded blows early before Welka exited the game due to a concussion.
Catholic Memorial (2-1) shifted to more of a run-heavy approach out of a double-tight formation with sophomore Chris Sanchez (9 carries, 118 yards) providing a powerful punch on four touchdown runs in the first half to open a 29-22 lead.
In the second half, junior Lasean Sharp (18 carries, 140 yards) helped the Knights pull away with a 10-yard touchdown run and a 22-yard touchdown reception.
Sophomore quarterback Peter Bourque finished 13-of-18 passing for 150 yards and added a 54-yard rushing touchdown in the second half.
“Their offensive and defensive line was bigger than a team we’ve faced in a long time,” said St. Francis coach Jerry Smith. “He’s got it going on over here, John [DiBiaso], and he’s doing a great job with these guys. When you play against this quality of a team, you can’t make mistakes, and we tried, but we just didn’t have enough horses.”
St. Francis scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but soon after the Knights re-inserted their starting defense, senior lineman Colin Murphy leapt for an interception to effectively seal the win.
“I thought our defense played a lot better in the second half,” said DiBiaso. “In the first half we didn’t tackle and we made a lot of mistakes. But it’s a young team and a young secondary, they’re going to make mistakes.”
“A win is a win. And [a combined] six turnovers and 185 yards of penalties later, we’re happy with the win, but still, we’ve got to clean it up.”
CM kicks off Catholic Conference play Friday night at Xaverian (2-1).