DM’s Alex the Great
Alex Meffe is making the most of his return to high school football.
One week after scoring the lone major in his team’s season-opening 21-6 loss to the Blessed Trinity Thunder, the Denis Morris Reds’ running back exploded for four rushing touchdowns Wednesday to power his team to a 35-7 victory over the Saint Francis Phoenix in Niagara Catholic Athletic Association play.
The Grade 12 student scored on runs of eight, 12, one and 15 yards and finished the day with 11 carries for 115 yards. Meffe added a handful of catches to help the Reds topple the Phoenix on their home turf.
This season won’t make up for the loss of his Grade 11 year to the COVID-19 pandemic but it’s a good start.
“It was terrible,” said the 5-foot-8, 165 pounder. “The atmosphere here and in the changeroom and practices with my teammates is great. It is just so much fun and I definitely missed it.”
His only other football experience prior to this year was playing on the Denis Morris junior team in 2019.
“It is such a great game when all your teammates come together, the blocks are setting up nice and the receivers are running good routes,” he said. “It is a really good team sport and I love team sports. It is great to see when everyone comes together and we are all on the same page and have the synergy to make big plays happen.”
The Thorold Blackhawks BB hockey player loves the contact in football.
“I have been playing hockey my whole life so I familiar with that contact,” the 17-year-old Thorold resident said. “I watch running backs in football all the time and it is a power game. I’m not fastest guy so when it comes to the running back I want to be, I am better at power than speed, for sure.”
Missing a year has made him appreciate football even more.
“We came back and we are hungry,” he said. “A couple of the guys realize that this is our last year and we don’t have that much time left,” Meffe said. “We are trying to go out there, do the best we can and try to teach the younger guys as much as we can. We want to get them ready for when they are at our level.”
Cecchini describes Meffe as a great running back.
“He is a topnotch student/athlete who comes to every practice and works super hard,” he said. “He is a great runner, he is aggressive and he is a pleasure to coach.”
Cecchini was delighted how his team bounced back from last week’s loss.
“It was an awesome win and I am very proud of the boys,” he said. “We improved in all aspects of the game but the biggest thing was the mistakes. We didn’t make many mistakes today and we held on to the ball.”
Cecchini loves the 2021 version of the Reds.
“They are a great group of kids, they are positive, we have a lot of fun and they are making it really enjoyable for me to coach this year.”
Phoenix head coach Carmine Provenzano feels his team has a lot of work to do after dropping its opening game. Saint Francis had a bye in Week 1.
“You could tell the team that has played a game already and the team that hasn’t. That I think is was really got us today,” he said.
But not all went bad for the Phoenix.
“We kept playing, we kept fighting even after we had a lot of starters going out with injuries,” Provenzano said. “We seemed a little disorganized but we are not used to having 10 guys go down. It was difficult.”
One definite bright spot for the Phoenix was the play of Lucas Johnsen. He chalked up more than 100 yards returning kicks, caught two passes for 61 yards to set up the lone TD by Saint Francis and recovered an onside kick.
Patriots 21 Thunder 17
Saint Paul evened its NCAA senior football record at 1-1 Wednesday with a 21-17 road victory over the Blessed Trinity Thunder (1-1).
Leading the way for the Patriots were: Javier Lewis with a TD, three interceptions and a two-point convert; Daniel Szufranowicz and Elijah Pappin with majors; and an extra point by Lucas Vetere.
For Blessed Trinity: Jayden Gurzi-McDonald had a pair of five-yard TD runs and Rico Nicolazzo had a 20-yard field goal, an interception and two converts.
Reds 35 Phoenix 7
BPSN Star of the Game: Denis Morris running back Alex Meffe with 115 yards rushing and four TDs.
For the Denis Morris Reds: Meffe, four TDs; 68-yard TD pass from Max Barnowski to Noah DiMaurizio; two sacks by Adam Mongelluzzo; sack by Darius Kazowski-Jackson; punt block by Michael Ukiomogbe.
For the Saint Francis Phoenix: five-yard TD run by Lucas Mason.
Game stats: Net offence: Reds 400, Phoenix 125. First downs: Reds 15, Phoenix 5. Turnovers: Reds 1, Phoenix 4. Penalties: Reds 2 for 15 yards, Phoenix 3 for 0 yards.
Up next: This Tuesday, Saint Francis (0-1) is at Blessed Trinity (1-1) Tuesday at 3 p.m. and Denis Morris (1-1) hosts Notre Dame (1-0) Thursday at 3 p.m.