OBy John Hance ’17
On Saturday, September 12, the high school football season kicked off with the varsity and junior varsity teams opening at the fan-filled Gold Star Stadium against Poly Prep Country Day School of Brooklyn. Poly Prep is a non-league opponent for Chaminade, which meant the game would have no consequences on the Flyers’ standing in the CHSFL; however, the games would serve as solid preparation for the tough league schedule ahead. Both home teams sought to start off their season with a win on their record.
The J.V. team started the Chaminade football season off at 10:00 AM by receiving the kickoff and fumbling the snap on the first play. Quarterback Nick Jaskolski ’18 recovered the snap, but the offense went only three downs before punting the ball away. After getting the ball back, running back Chris Nicholas ’18 sprinted down the field for a 37-yard touchdown, giving the Flyers a 7-0 lead that they would not relinquish. Jaskolski began the second quarter by throwing to Nicholas twice, including a 27-yard touchdown to double the lead. Chaminade had two more chances to score before the end of the half but was stopped by the Blue Devils’ defense and an interception thrown by Jaskolski in the end zone.
Poly Prep received the opening kickoff to start the second half, and the Flyers defense continued its dominant play by forcing a three and out. The defensive unit didn’t allow a touchdown the entire game and allowed only five first downs. Quarterback Jack Bill ’18 fumbled on an option pitch, and Poly Prep scooped up the ball and returned it for their only touchdown of the game. On the next offensive drive, Nicholas took off on a 40-yard run and was given another 15 yards on a Poly Prep late hit. Fullback John Shelley ’18, a powerful runner, charged down the field from eight yards out for a touchdown to restore the 14-point lead, which they maintained the rest of the game. The defense then shut down a final Poly Prep charge by deflecting a pass in their own end zone, and Shelley had a long run to gain a first down and ensure a 21-7 win and a 1-0 record for the Flyers.
After a one-hour-and-thirty minute break, the varsity teams for both schools were ready for the starting kickoff. Chaminade’s juniors looked to start their varsity careers with a big win, while the seniors looked to build on their AA championship last year with a victory over the Blue Devils. The Flyers won the coin toss and received the opening kickoff, and senior quarterback Nick Crennan ’16 began his second season as the starter by handing off to classmate Will Renz ’16 for a small gain.
On third down, Crennan threw an interception on his first pass of the year. Poly Prep took over and scored on a quarterback run from eight yards out, establishing a running game behind a massive offensive line that would punish the Flyers throughout the first half for five touchdowns. The Flyers seemed to be mounting a comeback and grabbing momentum midway through the second quarter after Ryan Spalding ’16 blocked an extra point and Thomas Pohalski ’16 recovered a fumble, but Crennan was stopped on a fourth down run. Poly Prep quickly scored three times to take the five-touchdown lead to the half.
Poly Prep received the opening kickoff and marched down the field for their final touchdown of the day. In the second half, the Blue Devils put in their backups, and Chaminade began to make strides, especially when quarterback Matt Chmil ’17 was put in the game at the end of the third quarter. Making his varsity debut, he passed for two touchdowns to Tyler Toussaint ‘16 and Kevin Ferryman ‘16, respectively. The Flyers ended up outscoring Poly Prep in the second half 13-7, although this was only a small consolation, as the final score was 42-13 in favor of the Blue Devils.
When asked how the game against Poly Prep will prepare the squad for the grueling CHSFL schedule ahead, Jonathan Licurse ‘17 said, “Playing a great team like Poly Prep in a non-league game served as a great test for us and will help us in our tough games ahead in our hunt to return to the AAA playoffs.”
The varsity and J.V. Flyers will return to action this Saturday, September 26 against Monsignor Farrell on Staten Island.
Come out and support the Flyers!