Prep edges Frankford for district honors

Posted: November 18, 2013

St. Joseph's Prep achieved a football milestone, but there were very few high-fives or celebratory hugs afterward.

That's because the Hawks, despite coming in as a considerable favorite, barely defeated Frankford, 10-7, Saturday at Northeast to claim their first PIAA District 12 Class AAAA crown.

"We didn't play to the best of our ability, and that's our goal every time we step onto the field," said Prep senior linebacker Ryan McNulty, who was involved in 11 tackles. "We have to fix things moving forward."

The Catholic League champs could not gain any rhythm on offense, spent an inordinate amount of time playing defense, committed two turnovers, and failed to score on four red-zone trips.

The determined Pioneers came oh-so-close to becoming the Public League's first district titlist in Class AAAA since George Washington surprised La Salle in 2008.

"Those guys battled," McNulty said of Frankford. "They're warriors. I have the utmost respect for them."

The Pioneers reached midfield in the last minute, but with no timeouts left, a spike and two incomplete passes ended the upset bid.

"I couldn't be prouder of you guys," Frankford coach Will Doggett told his teary players in a postgame huddle. "You represented Frankford to the max. Don't hang your heads."

With the closer-than-anticipated triumph, the Prep (9-2) advanced to a state quarterfinal the weekend of Nov. 29 against a team from District 2, 4, or 11.

"I don't want to take anything away from Frankford," Hawks coach Gabe Infante said. "Obviously, though, I'm disappointed with how we played. We struggled to find ourselves."

The Hawks did all their scoring - Vince Moffett's 2-yard run and Pat Walsh's 27-yard field goal - in the first 15 minutes. They were held to 137 rushing yards on 35 carries.

Frankford (7-4), which made it 10-7 on Marquise Poston's 6-yard keeper late in the third quarter, outgained the Prep, 191-155.

"We definitely sent a message to the Catholic League that we're not pushovers," Doggett said.

Frankford 0 0 7 0 – 7

St. Joseph's Prep 7 3 0 0 – 10

SJP: Vince Moffett 2 run (Pat Walsh kick)

SJP: FG Walsh 27

F: Marquise Poston 6 run (Prince Cooper kick)


robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq

www.inquirer.com/ozone

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