The St. Vincent-St. Mary football team will certainly not be lacking in confidence Friday night when they host Garfield.
St. V-M enters the game after defeating rival Archbishop Hoban 20-0 Saturday night at InfoCision Stadium. The victory allowed the Fighting Irish to tie the series with the Knights at 17-17 and win the annual game for the fourth year in a row.
The shutout was also the first in the series since Hoban shutout St. V-M 24-0 when the rivalry was renewed in 1996 at the Rubber Bowl. The Irish won the following year and then the Knights won nine consecutive matchups before the Irish’s current streak of earning the Shillelagh Trophy presented by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Junior Sae’von Fitzgerald led St. V-M by rushing for 185 yards on 32 carries. He also caught a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Oliver Hildebrandt.
“I thought we played well in all aspects of the game,” St. V-M coach Dan Boarman said. “We did a really nice job offensively, defensively and with our kicking game.”
The Irish defense was equally as impressive Fitzgerald, limiting the Knights offense to 34 yards rushing and 0 yards passing.
“I thought they just dominated,” Boarman said. “[Defensive coordinator] Mark Murphy did a tremendous job. We won that game on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, just with the preparation during practice. Our kids came to play and were well prepared.”
Boarman said the primary players on St. V-M’s defense are: seniors D.J. Williams, Freeland Oliverio, Vince Joyce, Michael Greissing, Joe Breiding, Mark Murphy, Anthony Cicione II and Doran Grant; junior Ray Stone Jr., Matt Perry and Tyler Bischof; sophomore Frashon Bickley and freshman Dante Booker.
Fitzgerald had success behind St. V-M’s offensive line, which includes: seniors Vince Michalec, Nick Conlon, Mitch Wassam, Carlos Lugo and Nick Codrea; and juniors Drew Laury and Matt Olszewski.
Irish senior Chris Motley converted two point after touchdown kicks and two field goals, and Grant also rushed for a touchdown.
St. V-M's defense also shutout North this season and in five games has allowed 39 points.
Boarman improved to 4-0 as St. V-M’s coach against Hoban. Boarman, a 1970 St. Vincent graduate, had a 2-0 record against the Knights as an Irish player. He also coached at Copley for 17 years.
Between 1978-1995 the rivals did not play football against each other because of a strong amount of tension and mutual consent. St. V-M led the series 12-7 when the schools played from 1959-1977. St. Vincent and St. Mary merged into one school in 1972.