McTiernan Heroics Delivers Xavier Turkey Bowl Title
Fordham Prep (9-2) was favored in the game which dates back to 1886 and has been played 82 times, with an unbroken consecutive string of Thanksgiving games that goes back to 1927.
Fordham scored first on a 49 yard pass play, but Xavier took control on both sides of the ball after that, out rushing the Rams 277 yards to -7.
Several local players figured prominently in Xavier's upset. The Knights were led by 6'3" 240 pound bruising full back Ryan McTiernan, a part-time Belle Harbor resident.
McTiernan, a co-captain, ran for 68 yards on 14 carries, returned a Fordham fumble 29 yards for a touchdown, and was named the game's MVP. Ryan's dad, Roger McTiernan won the same award as a Xavier player in the 1968 Turkey Bowl.
Also of Belle Harbor, Jonny DiMola ran for 46 yards on 7 carries and a touchdown.
Breezy Point resident, John Burke, had only 9 yards on 4 carries but put his stamp on the game on defense.
His tight coverage, including a critical interception in the 4th quarter, confounded Fordham's usually high scoring offense.
Sophomore Seamus Kelly of Breezy Point was brought up from the JV for the Turkey Bowl and ran for 89 yards, several key first downs, a touchdown and a 60 yard kick off return deep into Fordham territory.
Xavier locals also include; Matt Patterson, Sean Kearney, Mike Scannell, Joe Drennan, and Kieran Carley.
Television highlights of the game were carried on several network news shows as well as many cable outlets. Fordham still leads this classic series but with a successful Freshman and JV season and a continued influx of area boys, the future looks bright for Xavier Knights Football.