WESTWOOD — Quarterback Jake Farrell and running back Shayne Kaminski have been the heartbeat of Xaverian’s offense all season long. It was no different Saturday afternoon as the Hawks sailed past Catholic Memorial, 51-28, in a Division 1 South quarterfinal at the Hawk Bowl.
The fourth-ranked Hawks (7-1) will take on No. 16 BC High in the semifinals next weekend. Xaverian beat BC High last weekend to end the regular season.
Farrell (5 of 6, 89 yards; seven rushes, 68 yards) shined in the first half, rushing for two scores and throwing for another, and Kaminski (18 rushes, 209 yards) ruled in the second half, running for 167 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries.
“Jake had a monster first half at big times, made big plays,” said Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson. “He really gave us a big lead at halftime. Then we came right down and scored [to start the third quarter], just what we wanted to do, give the load to Shayne in the second half.”
The Hawks built a 24-0 halftime lead thanks in part to Farrell, who is in his first season at quarterback as a junior. But the Xaverian defense was also smothering early on, holding the Knights (3-5) to just 64 yards of offense in the first half.
“We played great defense the first half and we played great offense the first half,” said Stevenson. “We were playing total football.”
After Kaminski elevated the Xaverian lead to 31-0 on the first drive of the second half, the Knights were able to get on the board when Curt Bletzer ran it in from 3 yards out.
But on the first play of the next drive, Kaminski struck again, taking it 70 yards to build the lead to 38-7.
CM answered right back with a 13-play, 84-yard drive capped by a 13-yard TD pass from Kevin Claflin to Gavin Ajoku.
Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Jack McGowan was able to force and recover a fumble that he brought back 25 yards to cut the lead to 38-21.
“This second half was the first real chink our defense had in a long time,” said Stevenson.
“Those things happen, hopefully we’ll make those corrections. I just think we got a little tired on defense.”
Xaverian righted the ship after the fumble. It needed just three plays to extend the lead, as Kenny Kern rumbled in from 5 yards to make it 45-21.
Kaminski added his third and final score late in the fourth quarter for the Hawks. Claflin then found Ajoku again to cap the Knights’ scoring.
After the Hawks had a 47-yard field goal blocked on their opening drive, they were able to force a fumble two plays later. Farrell then ran it in from 5 yards.
Matt Rogers then kicked a 37-yard field goal, before Farrell found Nick Colantuoni for a 3-yard touchdown to make it 17-0.
The junior signal caller’s final score came with 12 seconds left in the half, when he took it 7 yards for the score.