It was an agonizing week for the football program. While everyone else had film to analyze and lessons to absorb, the Friars had yet to play a game.
Last week’s opener was in Pennsylvania kept State College from travelling, leaving the Friars’ season stuck in neutral.
With a crowd of 1,200 on hand Friday night, senior quarterback Peter Carew helped kick the Friars into fifth gear. St. Anthony’s racked up 430 yards total offense and six rushing touchdowns to sprint past CHSFL rival Farrell, 41-26. It extended the Friars' winning streak to 20 straight.
And it took all of 10:29 to get the rolling. Masten Ellerbe scored the first touchdown of the season – a 2-yard run – to cap an eight-play, 70-yard drive and put the Friars on top 7-0.
Staten Island power Farrell (0-2) countered with a touchdown of its own, set up by a 15-yard late hit penalty against the Friars. Then St. Anthony’s (1-0) exploded for five straight scores to take command, 34-7.
Hero: Carew, making his first career start, made everyone forget about Charlie Raffa (Maryland lacrosse). After a three-and-out in the opening series, Carew directed the option offense to touchdowns on five of the next six possessions.
His numbers didn’t excite – minus-2 yards rushing and 2-for-5 passing for 42 yards – but his handling of the offense proved as noteworthy as any highlight film touchdown turned in by his backfield.
“For a first start, I think he played really well,” Friars coach Rich Reichert said.
Turning Point: Electric senior running back Dariyan Riley broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run with 8:32 left in the first half for a 14-7 edge. Riley busted through the middle of the Farrell defense and broke free down the left sideline, diving into the end zone for extra style points.
Unfortunately for Riley, that was his last carry. He was sidelined not long after, his left foot heavily wrapped and using crutches. The coaching staff can only hope it’s a sprain and nothing worse.
Riley finished with 105 yards on six carries.
Quotable: “It really showed tonight,” said Reichert, who earned career win No. 202. “We were rusty. We made a lot of first-game mistakes.”
Bottom Line: St. Anthony’s made plenty of mistakes. A Carew sack and fumble set Farrell up at the St. Anthony’s 1. The Lions scored on the next play. The Friars also gave up an 88-yard kickoff return for a score.
Despite all that, St. Anthony’s controlled the tempo the entire way. With Riley out, senior Brian Sherlock ran for 57 yards on six carries and two touchdowns. Junior Anthony Anderson broke a 53-yard score.
St. Anthony’s now readies for the first of four straight road games. It’s an unusual and challenging schedule.
But at least the Friars and Reichert got some crucial early answers to some key questions. And the answer in most cases was Carew.
Key Stat: St. Anthony’s fed the ball to 10 different players, accounting for 388 rushing yards.
Who’s Next: St. Anthony’s @ Fordham Prep, Sept. 24, 7 p.m.
Teams..................1.....2.....3.....4 – F
Farrell...................0.....7.....6...13 – 26
St. Anthony’s........7...13...14.....7 – 41
SA: Ellerbe 2 run (Doktor kick)
F: Viegas 3 run (Puccirelli kick)
SA: Riley 50 run (Doktor kick)
SA: Sherlock 1 run (kick failed)
SA: Sherlock 33 run (Doktor kick)
SA: Anderson 52 run (Doktor kick)
F: Quadrato 1 run (kick failed)
SA: Duggan 6 run (Musgrove kick)
F: Viegas 88 kickoff return (Puccirelli kick)
F: Barchitta 5 run (kick failed)