"I think we have a very good program, and we wanted to prove it," Raiders coach Frank McArdle said. "I think we've done that the last two weeks."
After opening the season with four consecutive nonleague victories, by a combined score of 186-37, Ryan dropped three straight league games. That spelled an end to its bid for a return trip to the playoffs.
"I think, after we knew we weren't going to make the playoffs, that we were looser and more relaxed," Ryan defensive tackle Andrew Hund said. "That may have helped us."
Against St. Joe's Prep, which had won five straight since a 42-0 nonleague loss to Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), Ryan looked to slow the Hawks' speedy backfield by switching from a 4-3 scheme on defense to a 3-4.
"I think we did a pretty good job of stopping the run," said Hund, a 6-foot-4, 300-pounder and first-year starter. "And that's not easy to do against St. Joe's Prep."
Ryan (6-3 overall, 1-3 Catholic AAAA) was spurred on offense by junior tailback Samir Bullock, who rushed for 200-plus yards and two touchdowns.
Despite the loss, St. Joe's Prep (6-2, 3-1) placed first in the league and will face fourth-place Roman Catholic (3-6, 1-3) in a semifinal playoff next weekend at a site and time to be determined.
"I have a ton of respect for [Hawks coach] Gabe Infante and his program," McArdle said. "For us to beat a team like that, it's huge. I'm really proud of our kids."
St. Joseph's Prep 7 0 0 7 – 14
Archbishop Ryan 7 7 13 0 – 27
SJP: Olamide Zaccheaus 1 run (Pat Walsh kick)
AR: John Liguori 36 pass from Mark Ostaszewski (Joe Stock kick)
AR: Connor Golden 32 pass from Ostaszewski (Stock kick)
AR: Samir Bullock 25 run (Stock kick)
AR: Bullock 36 run (kick failed)
SJP: Jawan McAllister 16 pass from Jack Clements (Walsh kick)