Crusaders gobble up another Turkey Day win

Lin­coln #4 - Miguel Sanc­hez, QB

The game plan for Fath­er Judge High School was to run the ball against Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln in last week’s Thanks­giv­ing Day foot­ball match­up.

“We nev­er un­der­es­tim­ate an op­pon­ent, but we were con­fid­ent our of­fens­ive line would block well,” said Judge seni­or run­ning back Matt Smal­ley.

The game plan worked per­fectly. 

The line blocked well, and Smal­ley and the oth­er ball car­ri­ers gained big yard­age.

Smal­ley was the fea­ture back, car­ry­ing 11 times for 156 yards and four touch­downs to lead the Cru­saders to an easy 48-7 vic­tory over the Railsplit­ters at the Bar­foot Bowl.

“Our of­fens­ive line and full­back Raul Quinones did a great job open­ing holes,” Smal­ley said.

The only thing that slowed down Smal­ley all day was an ankle in­jury late in the third quarter. By then, the rout was on, but Smal­ley will be trans­ition­ing soon to track and field, where he is a standout sprint­er and jump­er. He had ice on his left ankle after the game.

“I’ll be fine,” he said.

Fath­er Judge won for the 22nd time in a row on Thanks­giv­ing and leads the all-time series 33-3-1.

“It was very im­port­ant to win. It’s tra­di­tion. We haven’t lost since ’89,” Smal­ley said.

The of­fi­cials even got in­to the tra­di­tion. 

Ref­er­ee Ernie Galla­gh­er and his crew wore hats re­flect­ing their alma ma­ters — four Fath­er Judge gradu­ates, two Lin­coln and one from West Cath­ol­ic.

Smal­ley and Lin­coln’s Mar­quise “Marty” Mc­Far­land won the Most Valu­able Play­er trophies for their teams. Sports­man­ship plaques went to Judge’s Ian Mc­Gin­nis and Lin­coln’s Mi­chael John­son.

Judge, which fin­ished the sea­son 7-4, stormed to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter on two touch­down runs by Smal­ley and one by Quinones.

The score could have been worse, but Lin­coln’s James Baldere made an in­ter­cep­tion at the goal line.

The second quarter was a dif­fer­ent story, however, as Judge com­mit­ted a couple of per­son­al fouls and turned the ball over on an ugly fake punt.

Lin­coln (7-5) scored on a 23-yard screen pass from Miguel Sanc­hez to Mc­Far­land. The Railsplit­ters had suc­cess with the screen a few times.

“It’s been very good to us all year, es­pe­cially with Marty Mc­Far­land,” said Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln coach Ed Mc­Get­tigan. “He’s a nice play­er. We’re go­ing to miss him.”

Lin­coln was driv­ing for an­oth­er score late in the first half, but Judge’s Brad Bur­goon re­covered a fumbled at the 13-yard line.

“We had some con­cern,” said Fath­er Judge boss Tom Coyle. “They were driv­ing to make it 20-14. It was 20-7 at half­time, and they got the ball at the start of the second half.”

The third quarter was Lin­coln’s down­fall. In four pos­ses­sions, the Railsplit­ters fumbled three times and threw an in­ter­cep­tion.

Smal­ley ran for two touch­downs to make it 34-7.

Quinones and Den­nis Boice ran for touch­downs in the fourth quarter. Boice scored with 2:40 re­main­ing, and the clock ran con­tinu­ously the rest of the game be­cause of the 35-point mercy rule.

Coyle cred­ited the of­fens­ive line with open­ing holes, adding that Smal­ley has the speed to get out­side and the abil­ity to cut back in­side. The coach was also pleased with the run­ning of Quinones and un­der­class­men Boice and Mar­quis Sea­mon.

Judge re­cor­ded three sacks, two by Eric Con­dron and one by Shawn Hartigan. Con­nor Dono­hoe in­ter­cep­ted a pass. The Cru­saders lim­ited Lin­coln’s ball car­ri­ers to 14 yards rush­ing.

“Our line­back­ers made plays, and our de­fens­ive line did a great job, too, get­ting them in the back­field,” said Smal­ley, who plays de­fens­ive back.

Smal­ley fin­ished the sea­son with an im­press­ive 21 touch­downs, in­clud­ing 17 on the ground. Quinones fin­ished with 16 touch­downs, 12 of which were rush­ing scores.

Lin­coln did a nice job of shut­ting down Judge’s passing at­tack, but quar­ter­back Rob Daniels did pass the 1,500-yard mark for the year.

Lin­coln fin­ished with sev­en turnovers, in­clud­ing six fumbles.

“We made too many mis­takes,” Mc­Get­tigan said. “When we turn the ball over that many times, we can’t com­pete with them. I thought we had the right schemes, but we were shoot­ing ourselves in the foot.”

Mc­Get­tigan, who was joined on the side­line by former coach Gene Kelly, said Judge’s of­fens­ive line was too big and strong, not­ing that the Judge run­ners scored largely un­touched. The turnovers gave the Cru­saders great field po­s­i­tion.

Lin­coln, which qual­i­fied for the Pub­lic League play­offs, will lose 22 seni­ors. Sanc­hez, who passed for more than 1,100 yards, will be among the re­turnees. Mc­Get­tigan wants his play­ers in the weight room by Janu­ary.

The fi­nal score was lop­sided, but the game was close for a while.

ldquo;I thought we looked pretty good,” Coyle said. “We jumped on them early. We had a hic­cup in the second quarter. We played much bet­ter in the second half. I give Ed and his staff a lot of cred­it. They have a good foot­ball team. No. 2 (Joshua Mc­Clam) and 25 (Mc­Far­land) are good play­ers.”

Judge, whose four losses came against very good com­pet­i­tion, will lose 24 seni­ors.

“Those guys did an out­stand­ing job for us and will be hard to re­place,” Coyle said.

An ex­cit­ing off-sea­son be­gins for the Cru­saders. Fath­er Judge will open the 2012 sea­son on Fri­day night of Labor Day week­end against Notre Dame Prep (Ar­iz.) in Dub­lin, Ire­land. The Uni­versity of Notre Dame will face Navy the next day. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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