The Catholic Conference is often recognized as the premier football league in the state. The talent and competition are second to none.
St. John’s Prep coach Brian St. Pierre knows this well. And it’s why a seemingly sloppy victory — one that nearly turned into a crushing loss — looks much better.
“It was a typical, great Catholic Conference game. This conference is brutal, on top of our ridiculous nonconference schedule. But that’s why these kids come here, to play in big games like this. I’m just proud of my guys for the resolve they showed,” St. Pierre said after his team held on for a 29-27 overtime victory over BC High on Friday night at James Cotter Field.
“It was far from perfect, but it’s a beautiful win in the end.”
Third-ranked St. John’s Prep (5-0) opened up a 21-0 lead early in the third quarter, but fourth-ranked BC High was hardly done. It scored three consecutive touchdowns — including a Marco King score with just over a minute left in regulation — to tie the game and send it to the extra period.
On the first possession in overtime, St. John’s Prep senior quarterback Oliver Eberth scored on a 1-yard sneak then found Declan Burt for a 2-point conversion and a 29-21 lead. King answered with a 10-yard rushing score, but his 2-point pass was swatted away by Nathaniel Vance.
“I didn’t think we relaxed [when we got up 21], they just started making some plays,” said St. Pierre. “But these kids . . . there was a lot of resolve shown on both sides of the ball. We made so many mistakes offensively and let them get back in the game a little bit.”
BC High (3-2) knotted things with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter on a tremendous individual effort by King. On fourth and 10, King scrambled and found a seam for a 31-yard touchdown that made it 21-21.
That came just minutes after King — who was also picked off three times — made another clutch play on fourth down.
Joe Peroni recovered a fumble at the St. John’s Prep 40 and seven plays later, King found Will Johnson for a 28-yard TD on fourth and 12 that brought BC High within 21-14.
“We couldn’t get [King] down, he made some plays with his feet,” said St. Pierre. “You work so hard to get the fourth down and then you give it up . . . we let them hang around, [the] defense, they played great for so long and then they just started making plays, gotta give them credit, too.”
Dillon Preston opened the scoring for the St. John’s Prep with a 4-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Oliver Eberth’s 20-yard TD pass to Hayden Rockett and Mike Yarin’s 54-yard touchdown run on St. John’s Prep’s first two drives of the second half gave it a 21-0 lead.
Steve Timmins jumpstarted BC High’s comeback with a 20-yard TD run late in the third.