Locals Spark Xavier To Win Freshman City Championship
On Friday night, November 5, under the lights at Aviator Field, the Xavier Freshman Football Team defeated rival Fordham Prep 38-14 to become the first ever undefeated freshman football team in Xavier history. The game was full of excitement as the 500 plus students, faculty, alumni, and family came out to support their own Xavier Knights.
As we all know, it is tough to be perfect, as was evident in the first half of the game. Fordham came out ready to upset the Knights. Uncharacteristic of the previous seven games, the Knights fumbled, missed defensive assignments, got picked off, and dropped kickoff receptions in the first half. Fordham Prep scored early and easy and Xavier found itself behind for the first time this season, 8-0. Xavier came back at the end of the first quarter with a touchdown by Trey Solomon, but a missed 2-point conversion ended the quarter as Fordham Prep led 8-6.
In the second quarter Fordham Prep struck again with a touchdown and Xavier fell further behind 14- 6. With a little over 2 minutes to go in the half, Xavier had the ball. Quarterback John Strehle threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Barnes and the Knights then converted the 2-point conversion to knot the score at 14-14 going into halftime.
Xavier Head Coach John Kelly (Breezy Point) and his staff, Coach Diffendale (Belle Harbor), Coach Milan and Coach Cambrass settled down their Knights and made the necessary adjustments at halftime. On Fordham Prep’s first possession in the third quarter Dennis Barnes made a one-handed interception which awed the crowd and swung the momentum towards Xavier. The Knights scored and converted the 2 points to go ahead for the first time in the game 22-14.
Xavier never looked back; their confidence took over, their defense tightened, and their offense exploded en route to a 38-14 victory. As the buzzer sounded at the end of the game, the 2010 Xavier freshman football team was crowned undefeated city champions and the celebration began as their teammates, classmates and students stormed the field and showed their support and pride for their team from Xavier High School.