St. Viator shuts out St. Joe's
For the first time in 10 years, the St. Viator Lions and the St. Joseph Chargers went toe-to-toe under the lights at Morris Field. The outcome this time was similar to the outcome last time these two teams met, as the Lions shut out the Chargers in 2009, and did so once again Friday, 42-0.
It didn't take long for St. Viator senior quarterback Jack Mahoney to ignite the offense. Mahoney punched in a 20-yard rushing touchdown to cap an opening 7-play, 52-yard scoring drive.
But Mahoney's stellar play didn't stop there. He accounted for all five of the Lions' first-half touchdowns, going 6 of 9 in the passing game for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran for three other scores. Mahoney carried 6 times for 73 yards as the Lions took a convincing 35-0 lead heading into the half.
"I wanted our team to bring the physicality to the other team and I think they accomplished that," said Lions coach Dave Archibald. "I think they did a great job right from the opening kickoff, winning the game at the line of scrimmage. When you can do that, good things are going to happen."
While Mahoney sat out the entire second half, one of his favorite targets, senior wide receiver Owen Hickey, who Mahoney refers to as "the ballhawk of the team," finished the game with 3 receptions for 81 yards, including a pair of touchdown receptions. One of his touchdown catches occurred during the first play of the Lions' second offensive drive as Mahoney launched a deep ball to Hickey for a 45-yard scoring strike. "Throwing those TDs to Owen Hickey is a lot easier than having someone who can't go up and get a ball like he can," Mahoney pointed out.
Hickey not only had an impact on the offensive side of things but on the defensive side as well. After a botched snap by the Chargers in the first quarter, Hickey was able to recover the ball, and then turned around on offense and caught a 19-yard touchdown pass three plays later.
The Lions' defense wreaked havoc on the Chargers' offense all night, as it forced 4 turnovers and picked off Chargers junior quarterback Ezekiel Boose twice. Those 2 interceptions came by way of junior linebacker Michael Nuelle.
"Defensively, they are a bunch of dogs this year," Mahoney said. "For me, if we have a quick three-and-out series, it's pretty easy going to the bench for 4 downs, getting right back on the field and keeping our rhythm going (on offense)."
Boose did, however, make a few nice plays for the Chargers, including a 17-yard pass to junior wide receiver Tim Shannon. Shannon accounted for a handful of tackles, as did his partner in the backfield, Ja'Vontay Bright, who finished with 4 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Looking ahead for the Lions (2-1), they will welcome ESCC rival Marian Catholic to town for a matchup on homecoming next Friday.
"In climbing Mt. Everest, we are just approaching base camp," Archibald said. "It's time now to show that we are a team that can move up and keep climbing higher because bigger challenges are on the way."