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Prep thrills in overtime win

St. Francis Prep quarterback Jack Hurley rushes the ball against Xavier in the Terriers' 41-35 win. Photo by William Thomas
TimesLedger Newspapers

The St. Francis Prep sideline erupted as a gang of Terrier defenders swarmed around Xavier running back Trey Solomon, stopping him in his tracks.

They denied him a first down on 4th-and-1 in overtime to seal the team’s biggest win of the season. The elation spilled out onto the field, after St. Francis Prep’s thrilling 41-35 win over defending division champion Xavier in a Catholic High School Football League Class AA game at Hofstra Saturday night.

“Every single play, I was praying that we would make that stop and we did,” Terriers running back Kadir Wisdom said. “Relief, joy, happiness. I’m so speechless right now.”

Wisdom was important for the Terriers (4-1, 4-0) both through the air and on the ground, running for 74 yards and catching the game-winning, 20-yard touchdown from Hurley in overtime.

It completed a St. Francis Prep rally after being down as much as 21-6 in the middle of the second quarter. It was then that the typically run-oriented Terriers offense turned to quarterback Jack Hurley to key a second-half comeback.

Hurley finished 9-of-17 on the night for 208 yards and three touchdowns, including a 65-yard touchdown toss to running back Justin Guerre with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter that ultimately sent the game into overtime tied at 35-35. He did so on third down after his first and second down passes were nearly picked off by Xavier (3-2, 2-2).

“It was up and down most of the way,” Hurley said. “We knew they were going to key on our backfield, which has been doing such a great job. We knew the pass was there.”

Xavier’s Solomon tested the St. Francis Prep defense all night on the ground. He finished with 294 yards rushing on 39 carries. His coach, Chris Stevens, wishes his running back had gotten the opportunity for more in overtime, believing Solomon had gained enough for a first down on the game-ending 4th-and-1 play.

“I would have liked to take my shot, 1st-and-10 from the 10 [yard line],” Stevens said. “It was an awful call at the end. Unfortunately, we let the game come down to that. We make two interceptions late, we win the game.”

Added Solomon, “I thought I had the first down, but it’s not really about what I felt .… We put it into the referee’s hands.”

While on the other side, the now-rolling Terriers took things into their own hands despite things looking bleak early on. They persevered and were left overcome with joy.

“Giving up is not what we do and we came out victorious,” Wisdom said. “It’s, it’s unbelievable. Just completely unbelievable.”

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