In a highly anticipated Division 1 Super Bowl matchup, the familiarity between No. 1 St. John’s Prep and No. 2 Xaverian was evident in a nail-biting encounter. The game concluded with a 31-25 victory for Xaverian, marking their second triumph in six days after a Thanksgiving win against the same opponent.
As the fourth quarter unfolded, St. John’s Prep, trailing at the time, showcased defensive prowess, forcing a three-and-out and reclaiming possession with 2:13 left on their 37-yard line. Despite the promising drive, quarterback Deacon Robillard faced a critical fourth-down situation.
According to a report by The Patriot Ledger, In a season-defining moment, Jack Angelopolus secured a crucial reception from Robillard for 36 yards, propelling Prep into enemy territory. A subsequent defensive pass interference call in the endzone further favored Prep, positioning them in the red zone. However, their hopes were dashed by back-to-back sacks, and the last-ditch comeback fell short.
Following an impressive season with 11 wins and nearly 500 total points, St. John’s Prep’s journey came to an end. Coach Brian St. Pierre, aiming for his fourth Super Bowl victory, acknowledged the significance of a fast start. Prep capitalized on a fumble recovery by Anthony Carusi early in the game, showcasing their strength in running the football.
Despite a strong start, a failed two-point conversion left Prep trailing 14-12 at halftime. The second half saw a dynamic shift in Prep’s strategy, incorporating passing plays. Robillard connected with Mason McSweeney and Gavin Gold, contributing to Prep taking an 18-14 lead in the third quarter.
The seesaw battle continued, with Xaverian responding with a 55-yard gain from Henry Hasselbeck, ultimately regaining the lead at 21-18. Both teams exchanged touchdowns, including a standout performance from Xaverian’s Caleb Brown, securing his third score.
A crucial 33-yard field goal from Xaverian’s Luke Bell extended their lead to 31-25 with 5:07 remaining. Despite the valiant effort, Prep couldn’t mount a comeback.
Coach St. Pierre expressed admiration for his team’s remarkable journey, emphasizing the emotional toll of the loss. Reflecting on the unique challenge of facing Xaverian twice in six days, he acknowledged the awkward situation.
Hasselbeck, on behalf of Xaverian, commended St. John’s Prep and expressed satisfaction with the intense, closely contested game. Despite the challenging loss, Coach St. Pierre acknowledged the exceptional quality of the matchup, stating that one team had to lose, unfortunately, being them.