Thanksgiving Football is Back

Looking to get out of the house to enjoy a Thanksgiving tradition before celebrating the day with family and turkey?

Four Catholic high school football programs will carry on their Thanksgiving tradition and rivalries on Thursday morning.

Xavier and Fordham Prep will play at 10 a.m. at Fordham University’s Coffey Field, and Cardinal Hayes will travel to Mount St. MIchael Academy in the Bronx for a 10:30 a.m. game.

These Thanksgiving games were not played in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, Cardinal Hayes and Mount St. Michael did not play because Cardinal Hayes won its league title and was preparing for the state championship game.

Four JFK Athletes Commit to Colleges

Four John F. Kennedy Catholic Preparatory seniors signed their letters of commitment to play baseball in college.

The four players are Gary Gill Hill (pictured) of Walden, Fairleigh Dickinson University; Brendan Kenneally of Yorktown Heights, Adelphi University; Russell Hunter of Croton Harmon, Hofstra University; and Pierson McGinnis of Montgomery, Bard College.

The four players were a part of the 2020 Kennedy Catholic baseball team that lost to St. Joseph by-the-Sea in CHSAA City Championship game. They were joined at the signing by their coaches and parents.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNEDY CATHOLIC

Iona Prep Wins AAA Championship

Ajani Sheppard threw for three touchdowns, ran for two touchdowns and was named the Catholic High School Football League AAA Championship game’s offensive most valuable player after leading Iona Prep to a 49-15 victory over Msgr. Farrell at Mitchel Athletic Field in Uniondale on Saturday.

Sheppard completed 17 of 22 passes for 220 yards and ran for 75 yards on 10 carries for the Gaels, who will host St. Francis of Buffalo in the state Catholic high school championship game at noon Saturday.

Iona Prep, the state’s No. 1 Class AA team in the state sportswriters poll, will be playing for the program’s first Catholic high school state football title.

“Major accomplishment for the program/school,” Iona Prep coach Joe Spagnolo told Catholic New York/Catholic Sports Scene. “The boys are very excited to be playing for a state championship on Saturday.”

Justin Joly caught five passes for 73 yards and one touchdown, and had seven carries for 76 yards and a touchdown for Iona Prep. Michael Senatore, MIke Ryan and Colin O’Garro each scored a touchdown.

Defensively, Iona Prep stopped Msgr. Farrell’s running game and had three quarterback sacks. Zyian Moultrie-Goddard was named the game’s defensive most valuable player.

PHOTO COURTESY OF IONA PREP

Football Champions Crowned

AAA Quarterfinals

Msgr. Farrell 37, Christ the King 7

St. Anthony’s 42, Cardinal Hayes 28

Archbishop Stepinac 42, Kellenberg 7

AA-1 Quarterfinals

Moore Catholic 35, Xavier 21

St. Francis Prep 28, St. Joseph by-the-Sea 27

Fordham Prep 13, St. Peter’s 12

AA-2 Quarterfinals

St. John the Baptist 34, Cardinal Spellman 6

Kennedy Catholic 35, Xaverian 12

Holy Cross 43, Mount St. Michael 14

Bowl Game

St. Dominic’s 35, Nazareth 14

AAA Semifinals

Iona Prep 35, St. Anthony’s 28

Msgr. Farrell 24, Archbishop Stepinac 21

AA-1 Semifinals

Chaminade 31, Fordham Prep 0

Moore Catholic 18, St. Francis Prep 7

AA-2 Semifinals

Holy Trinity 28, Holy Cross 0

St. John the Baptist 42, Kennedy Catholic 29

Championship Games

AA2–Holy Trinity 21, St. John the Baptist 10

AA1–Chaminade 43, Moore Catholic 7

AAA–Iona Prep 49, Msgr. Farrell 15

Anderson Scores in Army Win

Cardinal Hayes High School graduate Christian Anderson ran for 43 yards and the game’s first touchdown during Army’s 63-10 football victory over Bucknell in West Point on Saturday.

The senior quarterback saw limited action as his team scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters.

Anderson has run 473 yards and six touchdowns on 72 carries this season.

Army improved to 6-3 overall with its second straight victory and clinched a spot in a postseason bowl for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Black Knights will host UMass at noon Saturday in a game being televised by CBS Sports.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DANNY WILD/ARMY ATHLETICS

Fordham Prep Grad Velazquez Claimed Off Waivers by Angels

Fordham Prep graduate Andrew Velazquez was claimed off waivers Friday by the Los Angeles Angels.

Velazquez was one of several players the Yankees lost via waivers on Friday as they cleared spots on their 40-man roster.

Velazquez, a Bronx native, was called up by the Yankees in August when Gleyber Torres was injured and again on the final weekend of the season. when D.J. LeMahieu and Gio Urshela were battling injuries. He was the team’s starting shortstop for the team’s American League wild-card playoff game against the Boston Red Sox.

The 27 year old hit .224 with a home run, six RBI, 11 runs scored and four stolen bases for the Yankees, who signed him last December and invited him to spring training.

Velazquez was a seventh-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Fordham Prep in 2012. He previously played in Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays organizations.

Iona Prep Grad Leads William & Mary

Darius Wilson and the William & Mary football team will bring a two-game winning streak into Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at the University of Delaware after defeating Villanova, 31-18.

Wilson, a graduate of Iona Prep, completed 10 of 18 passes for 109 yards and ran for 33 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries for William & Mary. The freshman quarterback has thrown for 957 yards and rushed for 330 yards this season.

William & Mary (6-2 overall) competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. Following its game against Delaware, William & Mary will host James Madison, ranked third in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision poll.

Villanova was ranked fourth in the same poll before meeting William & Mary.

CHSFL Results, Playoff Schedule

Iona Prep, Chaminade and Holy Trinity all picked up top seeds for the upcoming Catholic High School Football League playoffs.

All three received byes and will compete in the semifinals on the weekend of Nov. 12-14. The quaterfinals will be played this weekend.

Here are the results from the final week of the regular season and the playoff schedule.

Week 8 Results

Xaverian 13, Cardinal Spellman 0

Kellenberg 35, Moore Catholic 13

Iona Prep 51, Chaminade 14

Msgr. Farrell 35, St. Peter’s 6

Holy Trinith 42, Kennedy Catholic 0

Cardinal Hayes 49, Archbishop Stepinac 48

Mount St. Michael 30, Nazareth 6

St. Anthony’s 44, St. Francis Prep 7

St. Joseph by-the-Sea 30, Christ the King 15

St. John the Baptist 17, Holy Cross 14

AAA Quarterfinals

No. 1 Iona Prep bye

Friday, Nov. 5–No. 5 Cardinal Hayes at No. 4 St. Anthony’s, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 6–No. 7 Christ the King at No. 2 Msgr. Farrell, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 7–No. 6 Kellenberg at No. 3 Archbishop Stepinac, 1:30 p.m.

AA-1 Quarterfinals

No. 1 Chaminade bye

Friday, Nov. 5–No. 5 St. Peter’s at No. 4 Fordham Prep, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 7–No. 7 Xavier at No. 2 Moore Catholic, 1 p.m.

No. 6 St. Francis Prep at No. 3 St. Joseph by-the-Sea, TBA

AA-2 Quarterfinals

No. 1 Holy Trinity bye

Friday, Nov. 5–No. 6 Xaverian at No. 3 Kennedy Catholic, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 6–No. 7 Cardinal Spellman at No. 2 St. John the Baptist, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 7–No. 5 Mount St. Michael at No. 4 Holy Cross, 1 p.m.

Bowl Game

Saturday, Nov. 6–St. Dominic’s at Nazareth, 7 p.m.

Iona Prep Grad, Cardinal Hayes Grad Meeting in CAA Football Battle

Iona Prep graduate Darius Wilson and the William and Mary football begin a tough three-game stretch on Saturday when it plays at Villanova in a Colonial Athletic Association game.

Villanova is ranked fourth in the NCAA Division Football Subdivision poll. Cardinal Hayes High School graduate Justin Covington, a graduate student and running back, has rushed for 469 yards and three touchdowns on 77 carries for the Wildcats, who are 6-1 overall after a 44-0 win over Rhode Island last weekend.

Wilson, a freshman quarterback, has completed 70 of 110 passes for 848 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 297 yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries. In last week’s 40-14 win over Towson, he was 7 for 12 for 164 yards and one touchdown and added six carries for 48 yards on the ground.

William and Mary (5-2 overall, 3-1 CAA) plays at Delaware next weekend before hosting No. 5 James Madison on Nov. 13.