NCAA football: Patriots, Irish and Reds victorious
Saint Paul quarterback Devon Schiller-Cleveland scored one touchdown and set up another with his legs Tuesday to lead the Patriots to a 17-15 victory over the Saint Michael Mustangs in Niagara Catholic Athletic Association senior football action.
“This was a coming out party for him today,” Saint Paul coach Mark Antonelli said. “We have been working with him to believe in himself.
“I keep telling him his biggest asset is his legs and sometimes they can help him get out of situations and trouble and he used them today.”
Antonelli sees improvement in the Grade 11 player every week.
“We are seeing that growth with Devon and the only way for him to gain confidence is to be confident.”
The 15-year-old was the starter quarterback on the junior team and took over the reins of the senior squad in his team’s second game.
“We have people coming out to practice and we started to get good chemistry and working well together,” the 6-foot-2, 170 pounder said. “Now we are putting it together on the field and it’s real nice.”
He feels he is getting better every game.
“I got broken in the first week, the second week was a little iffy and I started feeling comfortable the third week,” he said. “I am feeling good, I am having a good time and everyone trusts me at the helm.”
Confidence in himself has been crucial.
“I’ve been calling my own number a lot and running the ball more to help the team and open up the passing game,” he said. “I’m just working harder on the plays that need to be made.”
One of the things Schiller-Cleveland does well is throw the ball on the run.
“I’ve been comfortable throwing the ball on the run ever since I was young,” he said.
The rookie quarterback wasn’t the only young player to make an impact in Tuesday’s game.
“Our Grade 11s really stood up today and they came out and played hard,” Antonelli said, while singling out his quarterback, Ryan DiLella, Matt Paul, Rielly Sexton, Cody Somerville.
“These guys all came together today and contributed.”
Saint Michael head coach Keith Bomberry was not happy with his team’s performance Tuesday.
“It was a game marred by mistake after mistake,” he said. “We can’t win any games when we turn the ball over and miss assignments.
“That is the epitome of not paying attention and not listening and I am very disappointed with our performance coming off our bye week.”
Despite the poor performance, the Mustangs came within a missed 48-yard field goal in the final minute of the game of pulling out a victory.
“Even though we did rally at the end, we were never able to move the ball on offence and we were never able to execute properly,” Bomberry said.
Two big touchdown plays by Riley Hart did allow Saint Michael a chance to win the game.
“He’s a game breaker,” he said. “He got us into that game and he kept us close.”
Antonelli expected the game to be close.
“That is the beauty of this league,” he said. “Every game is going to be a dogfight. We are playing Lakeshore Friday and it’s probably going to be a one-score or a two-score game.
The Patriots won their second straight game to improve to 2-2 on the season while the Mustangs lost their second straight to fall to 2-2.
“We challenged these guys last week to be better and since then, we have gotten better,” Antonelli said. “This Friday, we have a night game under the lights with all our fans and the boys are starting to come together.”
Patriots 17 Mustangs 15
Mick and Angelo’s/Johnny Rocco’s Player of the Game: Saint Paul quarterback Devon Schiller-Cleveland, seven-yard TD run, 17-yard run to set up one-yard TD run by Jarrel Papin and a strong game throwing the ball.
For the Saint Paul Patriots: Schiller-Cleveland and Papin, TDs; Nicholas Abbuscato, 27-yard field goal; safety by defence; Marley McCray, Patrick Griffi and Carlos Calderon-Barahora, fumble recoveries; Alex Do, sack; Ryan DiLella, interception.
For the Saint Michael Mustangs: Riley Hart, 62-yard TD run and 55-yard punt return for a TD; single point on kickoff by Noah Wilson; Clayton Roperti, sack; Aaron Brown and Gilbert Carson, fumble recoveries.
Game stats: First downs: SP 17, SM 5. Net offence: SP 298, SM 101. Turnovers: SP 3, SM 3. Penalties: SP 11 for 55 yards, SM 5 for 35 yards.
IRISH 42 PHOENIX 0
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish improved to 5-0 in NCAA senior football action with a 42-0 victory over the St. Francis Phoenix (1-3).
The defending champions led 35-0 at the half.
“We are happy with the way our defence played, especially with so little practice time between games,” Irish head coach Tim Bisci said. “Our offence executed well at times, but we still need some work.
“We are still missing blocks and assignments and we need to be better as the season moves on.”
Contributing to the win were: Jacob Succar, 45-yard punt return TD, eight-yard TD run and 38 and 64-yard TD receptions from Hunter Cropper; Zack Melynk, 37- and three-yard TD runs; and, Cole Smith, six converts.
“The Phoenix were represented well by its leaders and kudos to quiet performers John Serrano and returning wide receiver Sam Brathwaite,” Phoenix head coach Jim Whittard said. “Quinton Duemo also played a solid game.”
REDS 20 GATORS 6
The Denis Morris Reds improved to 2-3 in NCAA senior football play Tuesday with a 20-6 victory over the Lakeshore Catholic Gators (0-4).
Contributing to the Reds victory were: Adam Rombough, 50-yard TD run; Kyle Duong, 50-yard TD catch from Josh Barber; Jacob Barnowski, field goals from 20 and 30 yards out; Riley Lyons, two QB sacks and a fumble recovery; and, Connor Delage, interception.
Lakeshore’s major came on a five-yard run by Dayle Schroeder.