St. Augustine beat Seton Hall Prep, 20-15, striking back as soon as they lost the lead for eleven seconds, scoring on an 80-yard pass from Austin Leyman to Carnell Davis with four minutes remaining. This is a game I watched on nj.com’s video stream instead of seeing live.
First Quarter: The first three drives ended in punts with only two first downs, each on the first play of those possessions: two four-and-outs and one three-and-out. St. Augustine then put together a ten-play drive ending with a 3-yard touchdown by 300-lb. Isaiah Raikes. After the first play was an incomplete pass, the Hermits stayed on the ground, the last five with Kanye Udoh gaining 31 yards on three carries before Raikes had 8 yards on the last two plays.
Second Quarter: Seton Hall moved the ball, going eleven plays, getting as far as the 12-yard line, but a Zander Zebrowski pass to Nick Gullace on fourth down went for no gain. The Pirates were again in St. Augustine territory, going as far as the 27, but a fourth-down pass fell incomplete. Once again, they had good field position after a St. Augustine punt, but ended up punting themselves.
Third Quarter: After an exchange of punts, St. Augustine took over on the 50. The Hermits went ten plays and extended their lead to 14-0 when Leyman sneaked in from a yard out on fourth-and-goal with 1:53 left in the quarter. With their backs to the wall, Seton Hall Prep got on the board when Zebrowski hit Gullace for a 67-yard touchdown. Zebrowski completed the pass near the far right sideline and Gullace ran around two defenders to race the final 30 yards to the end zone, making it 14-7 with 1:03 left.
Fourth Quarter: Early in the quarter, Ryan Monteleone intercepted for Seton Hall Prep on their 25 on a play that was challenged by St. Augustine, leading to a five-minute delay that confirmed the call on the field. This led the Pirates to go nearly seven minutes on a drive where Zebrowski scored on a 5-yard keeper past the right pylon with 4:17 left. St.Augustine had too many men on the field for the extra point, prompting Seton Hall Prep to go for two, making it when Matt Colantuono ran for the conversion. The Pirates had the lead for the first time in the game, but it lasted only eleven seconds when Leyman found Davis for 80 yards down the far right sideline. The Hermits elected to go for two, but the conversion failed. The ensuing kickoff was a short bounce that hit a Seton Hall Prep player and was recovered by St. Augustine on 45 of Prep. On fourth-and-inches, a Seton Hall Prep player jumped offsides, giving St. Augustine the first down and the Hermits ran out the clock.
St. Augustine – 7-0-7-6-20
Seton Hall Prep- 0-0-7-8-15
SA – Raikes, 3-yard run (kick good)
SA – Leyman, 1-yard run (kick good)
SHP – Zebrowski to Gullace, 67 yards (kick good)
SHP – Zebrowski, 5-yard run (Colantuono run)
SA – Leyman to Davis, 80 yards (kick good)
A pair of sophomores led the way for St. Augustine. Udoh gained 129 yards on 22 carries and moving the chains, while Leyman, a sophomore, had a hand in both touchdowns: a 1-yard sneak and the winning 80-yard touchdown just after Seton Hall Prep took the lead. The Hermits are very young with four underclassmen starting at the main skill positions – the other rotate a slew of players. There are also two juniors who start on the line and a sophomore who plays. The defense had three sophomores and one junior starting in the secondary, one junior at linebacker, and two sophomores on the line. We may be hearing more from the Hermits the next two years.
Zebrowski was 16-23 passing for 198 yards and one touchdown for Seton Hall Prep. Once they had the lead in the fourth quarter, they never saw the ball again, as St. Augustine recovered the squib kick. Seton Hall Prep outgained St. Augustine slightly: 286-275 and had the ball past midfield on all five of their possessions in the first half. Their possessions ended on the 42, 41, 12, 27, and 34-yard lines. Four of those possessions began with the Pirates in good field position: the Prep 42, Prep 40, 50, and Prep 44. Not taking advantage of those opportunities was the difference in the game. Of course, if you are St. Augustine, one can say their defense stayed strong.
It is always good to see a game without many penalties and it was the case in this one with a total of six.
** During the replay review, the time began at the 1:50:12 mark on the broadcast and the decision came at 1:55:20 mark. That is five minutes, as mentioned earlier: way too long to decide. If someone has to take that long, the play should stand, as it did in this instance. That is a big reason why I hate the replay rule in high school, college, and the NFL. If they are going to have it, it should be 30 seconds – 45 seconds maximum. The purpose is to overturn an obviously blown call. If it is not obvious, it should not be overturned and not take so much time. An obviously blown call is easy to determine and can be done very quickly. Unfortunately, people love to split hairs instead of making it very easy, like having simple math and turning it into advanced calculus.