Saturday, October 7, 2017

New-Look St. John's Prep Offense Cruises Against Catholic Memorial

By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

After the first three weeks of the season, Brian St. Pierre noticed his team needed a jolt - a way to make its lagging offense more explosive. 

The crucial maneuver is paying off.

In his second contest under center since being named the St. John’s Prep starting quarterback, sophomore Matt Crowley threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles defeated Catholic Memorial, 35-17, on Friday night at Catholic Memorial High School.

Crowley took over the position for Mike Yarin, who has since moved over to wide receiver.

The switch has given the Prep increased pocket presence and arm strength at the quarterback position, while adding a lethal threat on the outside.

“Matt (Crowley) played really well,” praised St. Pierre. “Our receivers played great. A young offensive line really grew up a bit tonight. Overall it was really good.”

Yarin is producing since the move to wide receiver as on Friday he hauled in four catches for 159 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ win.

“(Yarin’s) another weapon for us,” said St. Pierre. “I was thinking about making the move for some time. Mike is a really good athlete and Crowley has shown that he is ready to play.”

After a sluggish first quarter for the Eagles that saw the Knights take an early 7-0 lead courtesy of an Ore Ojo 1 yard touchdown, Crowley took control.

St. John’s Prep put up 28 straight points in the second stanza to take a commanding edge at the intermission.

Crowley got the Eagles’ offensive run started as he drilled Yarin for a 70 yard completion on a slant route over the middle to set up a three yard touchdown run for Aise Pream.

The Eagles’ defense followed up by forcing a turnover on downs allowing the offense to get back to work. Pream rushed three straight times for a combined 42 yards before Crowley capped off the four play drive with a 23 yard touchdown pass to Luke Brennan to hand St. John’s Prep a 14- 7 advantage.

A Ritchie Williams interception off a deflection gave the Eagles possession once again allowing Pream to race in from two yards out to push the Eagles to a 14 point lead.

Crowley capped of the Eagles’ explosive second quarter on their final drive of the half.

The sophomore slinger drilled Yarin for 25 yards before hitting Max Freedman on a back shoulder throw for a 23 yard score to hand St. John’s an insurmountable 28-7 lead.

“It was without a doubt our best game to date,” said Yarin. “We still have a lot to get better on.”

St. John’s Prep showcased a diverse offensive attack all evening with four separate players crossing the goal line.

Yarin’s touchdown reception came on the opening drive of the second half when he took a 62-yard seam route to the end zone.

The Eagles appear to be getting ready to play their best football at just the right time.

Forgive the young St. John’s Prep squad for dropping consecutive early contest to two of the states’ best in Everett and Central Catholic as they searched for answers on offense with Wes Rockett gone for the season.

Now, however, with Crowley under center and a bevy of offense weapons surrounding him St. John’s Prep seems poised to take BC High to the wire next Friday on Morrissey Boulevard.

“BC High is a huge challenge,” said Yarin. “They’re a step up in the league and so we have to step it up ourselves.”

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