Xaverian didn’t forget what happened against Monsignor Farrell and hopes the Lions feel exactly the same why this time around.
“We decided this week that it was going to be their five against our five and if we run the ball we’ll win,” Clippers coach Joe DeSiena said.
He was referencing a quote from Farrell defensive lineman Siddiq Iddrisu after his team shutout Xaverian in a lopsided win on Staten Island last year. Iddrisu essentially said whichever team won the battle up front would win the game. This time around, Xaverian not only won, but dominated in a 48-0 thrashing in a CHSFL Class AAA game at Kings Bay Friday night.
It is the program’s first varsity win over the former Staten Island power and Farrell’s worst loss in school history. The Lions fell 47-0 to St. Anthony’s in 2005.
“I’m happy we finally did what he wanted to do,” running back Laray Smith said of beating Farrell for DeSiena. “We made him proud. It’s only more that we not only beat them, but we destroyed them. We dominated them.”
Even after last week’s game where the Clippers saw quarterback Greg Rando throw for 262 yards and four touchdowns, DeSiena made a commitment to the running game and sophomore backs Smith and Zach Kearney. Farrell’s Michael Viegas rushed for 303 yards in last year’s 26-0 win.
“We said you guys had your fun passing the ball,” DeSiena said. “Congratulations, but we hate to tell you that the game play this week is we are going to get it ugly. We are going to run the football.”
There was nothing ugly about it, unless you were on the Farrell sideline. Smith and Kearney combined to rush for 286 yards on 27 carries. Rando was even 9-of-11 in the air for 178 yards and a touchdown as Xaverian (5-2, 4-2) amassed 476 yards of total offense. The Clippers forced Farrell (2-4, 1-4) to go three-and-out nine times.
Smith broke a 26-yard touchdown on the second play of Xaverian’s second series after Kearney opened with a 44-yard scamper. The Clippers scored touchdowns on each of their next two possessions. Kearney shed two tackles up the middle to run 69 yards for a score to the left corner of the end zone.
Smith later got into the act, finishing off the next drive from 1 yard out to put Xaverian in front 21-0 with 2:42 left in the first quarter. The two, who DeSiena calls a perfect combination of styles, just feed off each other. They helped the Clippers cover 203 yards in nine plays.
“It’s just motivation,” Kearney said. “He gives me motivation. I give him motivation.”
The only thing that stopped Xaverian from stringing together more scores was a Kearney fumble. Plummer added a 1-yard scoring run on fourth-and-goal early in the second quarter, Smith rushed for a 5-yard TD and Rando capped the first half scoring with a 14-yard pass in the back right corner of the end zone to Sean Binckes to give Xaverian a 45-0 lead at the break.
“This is probably the worst [half] I’ve ever experienced, said longtime Farrell coach Ben Sarullo.
Things didn’t get better for Farrell after the break. Kearny added a 1-yard scoring run early in the third quarter. The No. 10-ranked Lions lost wide receiver James Hilbert to a knee injury that left him needing to be taken off on a stretcher with 5:35 left in the game. To make matters worse, Charles Kamara was stopped on fourth-and-goal from the Xaverian 1-yard line to preserve the shutout in the final seconds.
“They outhit us and they outplayed us,” Sarullo said. “Every once in a while you have one of those game and tonight was it.”
It’s a feeling Xaverian knows all too well from the last time the two teams met at the Lions Den. It just believes it’s returning the favor.
“One of them said ‘We sent them back to back to Brooklyn,’” DeSeina said of last year’s game. “Well, touché.”