AUSTINTOWN: Already rolling, the St. Vincent-St. Mary football team enjoyed a second quarter for the ages.
The Fighting Irish scored touchdowns on their first three possessions in the second 12 minutes in Saturday’s 54-14 victory over Hubbard in a Division III regional semifinal at Austintown Fitch Falcon Stadium.
The Eagles (8-4) were unable to stop the Irish combination of quarterback Clayton Uecker and wide receiver Fransohn Bickley who hooked up for four touchdown passes in the first half.
Asked if he was surprised after the Irish (10-2) scored on their first six possessions, Irish coach Dan Boarman said no.
“We can play with anybody,” Boarman said. “I’ve told them all year — the only people who are going to beat them are themselves. We’ve got some kids who can play football. When they come ready to play, nobody can stop us.”
Ahead 19-7 after Bickley scored on receptions covering 14, 14 and 10 yards, the Irish broke the Eagles when Eric Prologo intercepted a Brandon Harb pass and returned the ball to the Hubbard 4.
On the next play, Parris Campbell Jr. scored. Following Hubbard’s next punt, Bickley caught Uecker’s next pass near the Hubbard 35, then shed two tacklers for a 68-yard touchdown.
Another Hubbard three-and-out set up the Irish’s next big play as Mike Pruiett raced for a 74-yard touchdown.
Uecker, who completed 16-of-21 passes for 317 yards and a school-record six touchdowns, agreed this was his best performance of the season.
“It felt great,” Uecker said. “I’m just looking forward to next week.”
Uecker also broke the single-season passing yard record for St. V-M that was set last year by Kevin Besser with 2,324 yards. Uecker now has 2,463 yards.
Jordan Hargrove also broke a school record for receptions held by LeBron James with 57. Hargrove caught five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown and has 61 catches this season.
The Eagles were unable to stop the Irish’s potent offense.
“It didn’t feel real; it felt like a [nightmare] almost,” Hubbard senior lineman Tyler Korenyi-Both said.
“I felt like we were always a step behind them. They had that one step of speed that we did not have.”
After watching the Irish score on their first two possessions, the Eagles climbed back into the game — briefly. The Eagles produced a 63-yard, nine-play drive capped by Harb’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Tate that sliced the Irish lead to 12-7.
“They were one of the quickest teams I’ve ever played,” said Harb, who also plays safety. “The angles to get on them was real hard [to figure]. We didn’t see that very often this year.”