It’s the ultimate showdown in the CHSFL as top-seeded St. Anthony’s takes on No. 3 Chaminade for the Class AAA championship Saturday at Mitchel Athletic Complex live on MSGVarsity.com at 4 p.m.
If recent history is any indication, this could be an instant classic in Uniondale. The Friars pulled out a dramatic 24-23 Week 4 victory in Mineola as Flyers coach Stephen Boyd went for the winning 2-point conversion after Sean Cerrone scored a late touchdown. But Rob Speranza was stopped at the goal line as St. Anthony’s held on for the win.
“It’s going to be a great game,” St. Anthony’s coach Rich Reichert said. “They’re playing really good football right now…It was a one-point game and they went for the win. It’s great for Long Island football.”
St. Anthony’s (8-2), ranked No. 12 in the Tri-State by MSG Varsity, is making its 15th straight appearance in the CHSFL ‘AAA’ title game and is looking to win an 11th championship in 12 years.
The Friars had to overcome rare adversity, starting the season 0-2 and battling injuries throughout. But St. Anthony’s finally became healthy at the start of the playoffs and cruised to a pair of lopsided wins against Monsignor Farrell (42-0) and St. Joseph by the Sea (35-8).
“We didn’t start the season the way we wanted to, but I think we’re going to finish strong the way we have in the past years,” senior running back Anthony Anderson said.
Offensively, the Friars are paced by a diverse and dangerous rushing attack that features Anderson, sophomores Jordan Gowins and Brendan Femiano and junior Naim Jones.
“That’s really what we’re all about,” Reichert said. “We’re not about one guy getting 500 yards. It’s about sharing the ball and blocking for each other. They have to buy in and hopefully they buy in this week.”
Chaminade (9-1), ranked No. 14 in the Tri-State by MSG Varsity, is in the title game for the first time since 2002 and is seeking its first championship since 1998.
The Flyers defeated Holy Cross 21-0 in the quarterfinals before stunning No. 2 Iona Prep, 41-16, in the semifinals last Saturday. It was Chaminade’s second win in New Rochelle this year.
“We were really confident coming into today after we beat them the first time,” Cerrone said after the game. “The whole team is putting a great effort in, and we just want to get better every game.”
Cerrone was 10-of-12 for 204 yards and four touchdowns, three to Thomas Zenker, who is heading to Duke University to play lacrosse. Speranza rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns against the Gaels.
“We’re definitely motivated by the fact that that everyone things St. Anthony’s is so dominant,” Cerrone said following the semifinal win. “But we’re going to prove that we can beat them and win this thing.”
Will the St. Anthony’s juggernaut march on to another title or will Chaminade finally solve the Friars and win its fourth Class AAA championship?
Find out Saturday at 4 p.m. live on MSGVarsity.com.