What was it that Einstein always said about doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results? Since 1987 St. Anthony’s has been doing the same thing to Chaminade in football – that didn’t stop Saturday.
Since before the current members of the roster were even born, the Friars Fanatics and Flyer Faithful have been wanting to fricassee each other on the sidelines season after season.
And for the past two times that the teams have met in the past two years, the Flyers have tried to run a two-point conversion to take a lead in the waning moments of the fourth quarter only to have it fall just short.
You’ve heard it before – last year in Huntington in fact, when a route play wasn’t executed and the Friars not only maintained their edge, but added to it.
It wasn’t the same exact play, but you’d be hard pressed not to come up with a better summation than Yogi Berra’s infamous déjà vu quote.
“I thought that was a great call, I really did. I respected them for going for the two at the end,” St. Anthony’s Coach Rich Reichert said after the 24-23 victory. “That’s the right call. It’s really come down to that two years in a row. We weren’t in a panic mode.”
Panic mode was what had set into most of the fans wearing red after the Friars went up 17-0 in less than 5 minutes before Chaminade got on the board on an 80-yard drive that culminated in junior Sean Cerrone finding WR Thomas Zenker for a 20-yard touchdown.
“We wanted to come out fast,” Reichert said.
The most potent weapon St. Anthony’s employed was junior RB Naim Jones, who scored the first two touchdowns from 48 and 75-yards out, the latter a kickoff return in the first.
“I turned around and all of a sudden I see him coming 80 yards down the field, it was just, I was so happy and then right after that he returned the kick return,” St. Anthony’s quarterback Greg Galligan said. “He had a lights-out game.”
The only real mistake Jones made was fumbling another kickoff return that Chaminade (3-1) was able to recover that led to their first score.
“He’s frustrating because he’s got an awful lot of talent and then he makes some really bad mental mistakes,” Reichert said. “But in space, he’s as good as we have. We’re going to have to rely a little more on him if (RB Jordan) Gowins is out for a while.”
Not that any of this did a number on the Flyers’ psyche – especially considering that they had come back against Iona last week in the final 2 minutes of play.
“I knew they weren’t going to give up but I had a pit in my stomach that they were going to score,” Galligan said.
That pit turned into a brick at seeing a hitch-and-ladder play from Cerrone to WR Thomas Zenker to RB Robert Speranza that set up the TD and conversion attempt.
“(Defensive) Coach (Dennis) Bligen came up with that,” Zenker would later say. “It went perfectly. I was pumped after that. We like that play.”
The eventual pass from Cerrone had been working, “we ran it 4 times in the same situation,” the Flyer quarterback would say. “A couple times we had penalties which hurt us and then we decided on it again because it was working on them and then that time they just stuffed us.”
Shirking off any second guessing, Cerrone said that it was always their intent to go for two.
“We didn’t come that far just to tie it, to just give up,” he said of a field goal attempt. “We wanted to go for it all. I’d rather go for the win then tie. I’d rather lose going for 2 then tie.”
Not that Chaminade is dwelling on its first defeat of the season, especially against its archrival.
“We’ll be fine,” Fowler says, heaving some equipment over his frame and walking towards the locker room.
“We’re back in first place now,” Reichert said. “Now everything’s in our hands.”
For the Friars, it would be insane to be any place but.1 2 3 4 F St. Anthony’s 17 7 0 0 24 Chaminade 7 10 0 6 23