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RUNNING START: Iacono & Hunter run past St. Peter's

Posted Monday, September 21, 2009 by John Fatuzzo
St. John the Baptist 35, St. Peter's 14

It was not your convential 'home' game but nonetheless, St. John's Varsity Football team defended the turf at Nassau-Mitchell Athletic Complex in Uniondale.  Following a rainy, dreary 24-6 loss at the very same site last Friday night against Holy Trinity, the Cougars were ready to roll, add the first number to the W column and start of their league schedule on the right step.  They did just that.

The Cougars opened their league schedule on Sunday with a contest against St. Peter's Boys High School from Staten Island.  SJB won the game 35-14 on the strength of their running game, featuring a combined 320 rushing yards from Senior Vincent Iacono and Junior Derelle Hunter.

St. John's (1-1, 1-0 league) received the ball to start the game.  After a first down, the Cougars were stopped on their next series and were forced to punt.  However, a muffed catch and Cougar recover allowed St. John's to maintain the ball inside the Eagles' 25-yard line.  Just two plays later, the Cougars were up 7-0 on a 24-yard TD pass from Sean Belsky to Mike Gangitano.

On St. John's next drive, the offense capitalized again as Belsky hit Gangitano for a 36-yard strike for a touchdown.  The offense wouldn't let up either.  The Cougars scored on their first two possessions of the second quarter.  Hunter scored on a 75-yard TD run and then Iacono did the same from 55-yards out.  Halfway through the second quarter, it was 28-0 and all St. John's.

Despite scoring on their final drive of the first half and then again on their first drive of the second, the Eagles were put away halfway through the third quarter following a key fumble recovery in Cougars territory.  Defensively the Cougars were spectacular all day.  Seniors James Kierans, Phillip Jendzo and junioe Ricky Mulville each sacked St. Peter's quarterback John Woodford.  Nick Licari had a 35-yard interception in the first half.  Mulville and senior Justin Pelkowski each recovered fumbles for SJB.  Senior Matt Scott led the team with 7 tackles.  Kierans and Licari each had six tackles.

Overall, Sunday's game couldn't have gone any better for St. John's who won the first league matchup of the fall and evened their record at 1-1 overall.  Next up is Xavier High School, a team that SJB has become very familiar with lately.  The Cougars and Knights will be meeting for the sixth time in the past three seasons this Saturday at home.  Last time the two teams met was last year's homecoming, in which SJB stopped New York State's #1 rushing offense in the fourth quarter en route to a 49-44 victory.

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