WESTWOOD — In a Catholic Conference tilt that seemed initially to be stuck in the mud, Catholic Memorial broke loose with 42 unanswered points in a runaway 42-10 victory at rival Xaverian.
“You have to play four quarters,” said CM coach John DiBiaso. “We knew that beforehand, but we didn’t play a good first quarter. Thank God we were able to come back and grab the lead. Because [Xaverian’s] game is grinding it out and killing the clock.”
The 12th-ranked Hawks (1-3) jumped out to a 10-0 lead by capitalizing on great field position. Junior quarterback Michael Berluti connected on a 43-yard field goal late in the first quarter and finished a 26-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown run in the opening minute of the second quarter.
But the defense of the top-ranked Knights (5-0) limited Xaverian to just 54 total yards of offense in the first half, allowing their balanced offense to work through some early miscues.
CM junior tailback Shiloh White provided the breakthrough with a 15-yard touchdown run, then added a 37-yard run down the sideline to set up an 8-yard score from Darius LeClair (11 carries, 37 yards, 3 touchdowns).
“[The Hawks] were stacking up in the middle, and [White] got to the outside and made a big difference,” said DiBiaso. “Our offense started operating better and running that offense — it’s the same type of offense I ran at Everett — you have to keep the lead.”
Catholic Memorial had no issues building on its 14-10 halftime lead, as senior quarterback Barrett Pratt (4-for-11 passing, 170 yards) connected with Zach Mitchell (4 receptions, 130 yards) for an 83-yard pass to set up another LeClair score in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
On the Knights’ next drive, White (11 carries, 145 yards, 2 touchdowns) got loose down the sideline for a 58-yard gain, setting up LeClair’s third touchdown of the night. White added a 14-yard score of his own and Owen McGowan (5 carries, 96 yards, touchdown) provided the finishing touches with a 32-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Pratt appeared to twist his knee on the final play of the third quarter and did not return, but DiBiaso said that his starting quarterback did not tear any ligaments.
Nate Weitzer can be reached at email@example.com.