Reichert moves atop Suffolk County wins list
All is right with the universe again in South Huntington.
St. Anthony’s pounded the ball offensively and pounded visiting Holy Cross defensively and when it was over, the Friars had another big CHSFL Class AAA win and longtime head coach Rich Reichert picked up yet another milestone.
Following a dominant 28-0 victory at Cy Donnelly Field Friday night, Reichert was presented with the game ball for career win No. 212, which moved him atop the Suffolk County all-time list, surpassing former Bellport coach Joe Cipp Jr.
“I know he loved Bellport like I love St. Anthony’s football,” said Reichert, in his 26th year coaching his alma mater. “The nice thing is that we were both able to do it at one school. To me that made it really special.”
It was a typical St. Anthony’s win after a pair of atypical losses that resulted in the first 0-2 start in 32 years.
“There was a little added pressure,” Reichert said. “You can tell it throughout the coaching staff. We were kind of doing a little more yelling than we were normally do during the week just to try to get the kids focused to get that first one.”
Junior defensive lineman Joseph Percival certainly took notice.
“We were going hard every single day. We had our down days where we were getting pushed hard and we were tired, but we rose up and that’s what is important,” he said. “We’re going to keep rising until the end of the season.”
Percival said the defensive unit, which gave up a combined 89 points in back-to-back losses to Bergen Catholic (NJ) and Iona Prep, wanted to prove the Friars still have a stout defense and he led by example.
His strip sack of Holy Cross quarterback Michael Loprete (8-15, 95 yards), recovered by Cody Katter, helped set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Jordan Gowins, his second of three in the first half.
Percival also made a difference on special teams. With Holy Cross (2-1, 1-1) backed up on its own 25 on its first possession of the second half, Percival blocked a punt and Alex Masotto picked up the ball, running it in for a 20-yard score to extend St. Anthony’s lead to 28-0 early in the third quarter.
“That was just fun,” Percival said. “That stuff comes once in a while. It was awesome.”
Gowins, who showed a glimpse of his ability in a Week 2 loss at Iona Prep, had 14 carries for 127 yards, including a 62-yard burst up the middle on third down to put the Friars in front, 7-0, with 4:39 left in the first quarter.
“That’s just the linemen, couldn’t do it without them,” Gowins said. “They opened up a big hole, I saw it and took it.”
Gowins wasn’t alone in the impressive win over a Holy Cross team that beat Mount St. Michael Sunday. Anthony Anderson had 20 carries for 98 yards for St. Anthony’s (1-3, 1-1 CHSFL AAA), which was without starting quarterback Greg Galligan, who missed a second straight game with a concussion.
“We really played a good football game tonight,” Reichert said. “We were physical on defense, first half we were real physical on offense. I think we really played a good game all around.”
When it was over and St. Anthony’s players were finally able to sing the fight song, Reichert turned nostalgic, reminiscing about his time as a St. Anthony’s football player.
“It brings back a lot of good memories, that’s really what it does, of all the good kids who have come through here,” Reichert said. “When I played, it was a little grumpy school in Smithtown, all boys. We really had nothing and this is what it’s grown into.”