For the St John Vianney Lancers, it has always been about one goal, and that was a chance to head to MetLife Stadium to compete for a Non Public Group III Championship. Tonight, that dream became a reality as SJV rolled to a 49-6 statement win over Shore Conference rival Red Bank Catholic.
Quarterback Anthony Brown gave Lancer Nation a performance to remember in his final home game at St John Vianney. Brown is getting ready to head off to the ACC as a member of the Boston College football team. BC has to be excited to gain such an electrifying talent. Brown put it all on full display tonight, throwing for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns, and adding another 85 on the ground along with a 35 yard touchdown run.
Brown wasted no time leading this offense by going straight to the air on the first possession of the game. Senior Wide Receiver Michael Stapert got about 7-10 yards beyond the Caseys defense and hauled in a 35 yard strike straight down the line. Stapert would also hit the end zone again on a 65 yard pass in the second half. The Senior has been a scoring machine for the entire season, racking up 9 touchdowns!
The Lancers also did a lot of damage on the ground. Both Chris Chukwuneke and Calvin Beaty used a combination of speed and power to control the tempo of the game. Chukwuneke once again showed why he is one of the best downhill runners in the Shore, rushing for 103 yards on 11 carries. Chukwuneke found the end zone on runs of 11 and 30 yards. Beaty used his strength to pick up several first downs throughout the game.
When the Lancers needed to pull a trick out of their playbook, they went to Jeff Sheard. Sheard ripped off two big runs of 68, and 31 yards. The 68 yard run set up the second Chris Chukwuneke touchdown. Altogether, St John Vianney managed to pile up 511 total yards. The Lancers had a great balance between both their running and passing attack. They kept RBC on their heels all night.
Watch Jeff Sheard score in the first half.
However, it was the defense of SJV that stole the show tonight. When you have an offense that scores so many points, the other side of the ball tends to become forgotten. The Lancers would not be where they are today without this defense.
The unit finished with 4 sacks on the night, making life very miserable for the Caseys. They also came up with 4 interceptions, 2 by Marcque Ellington. One of the biggest defensive plays coming on a 55 yard interception return from Ellington that set up another Lancers touchdown. The Caseys were held to just 234 yards. This was not a typical game for RBC.
Watch Marque Ellington come down with an interception.
Red Bank Catholic got their only scoring drive of the game in the third quarter. Quarterback Eddie Hahn put together a 12 play, 72 yard drive. Hahn threw a 31 yard touchdown pass to Zach Bair to put the Caseys on the board. Offensively, 154 of RBC’s 224 yards all came in the second half.
St John Vianney showed that they mean business in this win. Lancers fans stormed the field to celebrate the teams’ first semifinal victory in over 20 years. For a program that had struggled for so long, these two years have certainly been memorable for Lancers fans. They went 10-1 last year, and are now 11-0 and will head into the Non Public Group III Championship Game to face a very tough DePaul team.
Passing: SJV – Brown: 6-11-0-161, RBC – Hahn: 11-34-4-95.
Rushing: SJV – Chukwuneke 11-103, Brown 9-85, Beaty 8-50, Sheard 2-99, Steinert 1-11, Haskins 1-2. RBC – Hahn 18-65, Murphy 7-18, Wilen 6-39, Bair 3-7, Dipiero 1-6, Purge 1-3.
Receiving: SJV – Stapert 2-100, Sheard 2-17, Beaty 1-28, Haskins 1-16. RBC – Balzofiore 3-27, Ansell 2-13, Murphy 2-5, Bair 1-31, Wilen 1-7, Hazard 1-6, Lukawski 1-6.
Interceptions: SJV – Ellington 2, Brown, East.
SJV – Michael Stapert – 35 yard pass from Brown. (Rice Kick)
SJV – Chris Chukwuneke – 11 yard run. (Rice Kick)
SJV – Chris Chukwuneke – 30 yard run. (Rice Kick)
SJV – Jeff Sheard – 11 yard pass from Brown. (Rice Kick)
SJV – Michael Stapert – 65 yard pass from Brown. (Rice Kick)
SJV – Anthony Brown – 35 yard run. (Rice Kick)
SJV – Zyaire Sterling – 11 yard run. (Rice Kick)
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