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NY Post- CHSFL Title game

Posted Friday, November 18, 2011 by NYPOST.com

CHSFL Class AAA, AA title games preview

Last Updated: 5:09 AM, November 18, 2011

Posted: 5:08 AM, November 18, 2011

 

It’s championship weekend in the CHSFL. The top two teams in each division are still alive and CHSFL beat writer Joseph Staszewski breaks down all the action at Mitchel Field. Things kick off Friday night with St. Anthony’s against Archbishop Stepinac for the Class AAA title at 7 p.m. and then against Saturday at 1 p.m. for the ‘AA’ championship game between Fordham Prep and Kellenberg.

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St. Anthony's Friars

Head coach: Rich Reichert

Record: 9-0

Player to watch: Greg Galligan

Stepinac Crusaders

Maston Ellerbe will try to help run St. Anthony's to a 13th CHSFL Class AAA title.
Denis Gostev
Maston Ellerbe will try to help run St. Anthony's to a 13th CHSFL Class AAA title.
John Trimble will try to help Fordham Prep win its first ever CHSFL Class AA crown.
Thomas Bricker
John Trimble will try to help Fordham Prep win its first ever CHSFL Class AA crown.
 

Head coach: Mike O’Donnell

Record: 8-2

Player to watch: Austin Taps

Outlook: One team has lived in this game and the other is making its first-ever appearance. St. Anthony’s has been the premier team in the CHSFL for nearly two decades winning 12 ‘AAA’ titles and making 18 championship game appearance in the last 19 years.

Stepinac last won a CHSFL title at the highest level in 1955 before there was a title game. The Crusaders won an undefeated Class AA crown last season when many felt they and the Friars were the league’s top teams. Coach Mike O’Donnell told his players after their dramatic semifinal win over Xaverian that they were not to consider themselves on a revenge tour even though the Friars were one of the squad's only two losses during the regular season.

"They are the king of the league,” O'Donnell said of St. Anthony’s. “Til somebody knocks them off they are still the champion. Hopefully we can be the one.”

If they are going to do so they are going to have to play better than they did in a one-sided 55-29 defeat in Week 5. St. Anthony’s punted just once on its final offensive possession that night. Both teams are beholden to their running games and want to dictate the line of scrimmage with massive and athletic lines.

“I think we need to look at what we did the first time and throw it out the window,” Friars coach Rich Reichert said. “A championship game is totally different. We have to figure out a way to be a little more physical on the line of scrimmage.”

St. Anthony’s uses a bevy of backs highlighted by Maston Ellerbe and Anthony Anderson. Stepinac has versatile quarterback Mark White and bruising fullback Caleb Gilligan-Evans. Friars quarterback Greg Galligan has started to settle in and Daniel Hoffer’s arm gives the Crusaders a different look. Stepinac has the game’s lone home run threat in wide receiver Vincent Narog.

“We have to get our reads right, our blocking,” Anderson said. “We just have to come out and play hard from the beginning.”

Defense has been the key to the Friars success whether it's been ball-hawk defensive backs Durelle Napier and Tim Stackpole, lineman Pat McHugh or linebacker Anthony Leggio. The Friars could have a tough time on the edges with stud Stepinac defensive ends Austin Taps and Garfield Heslop. St. Anthony’s has relished late game stops to seal close wins over Iona Prep twice, Chaminade and Xaverian.

“They are fun, but they are tough on my heart,” McHugh said of those games. “I wish it was a couple scores, but they are great to play in.”

Stepinac is happy to just be in the game and the Crusaders see it as another chance to prove people wrong as most expect St. Anthony’s to be hoisting the trophy for a 13th time.

Maston Ellerbe will try to help run St. Anthony's to a 13th CHSFL Class AAA title.
Denis Gostev
Maston Ellerbe will try to help run St. Anthony's to a 13th CHSFL Class AAA title.

 
 

“Nobody believed we were going to make it this far except for the coaches and us," junior Shane Hogan said. "We are still not done. We still have one game to go."

 

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