BUENA VISTA – Senior night here in the 30th year of St. Augustine Prep football ended up a fourth consecutive win, this time over parochial rival Holy Spirit on Friday night at LaRosa Field.
It finished a 27-14 final for the fifth-ranked Hermits (5-2), in which big plays got made by the home side, decked out in all-navy blue.
A blocked punt after the sixth-ranked Spartans' (4-2) first drive set up Prep with good field position. On 4th-and-13, quarterback Chris Allen found Justin Shorter for a 30-yard touchdown strike.
In a clash between two rivals, St. Augustine defeated visiting Holy Spirit in Richland. The Hermits won the game, 27-14 on Friday, October 12, 2018. Adam Monacelli, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
Isaiah Genera's four-yard touchdown catch on the next set of downs and an E'lijah Gray run made it 8-7 for the road club. It kissed a lead goodbye when 290-pound Isaiah Raikes got in from two yards out in the second period.
The Hermits never trailed again. Raikes would chug in from nine yards in the fourth and Luke Snyder provided two field goals as well.
Spirit climbed to within six at 20-14 in the third on Mike Preston's dazzling 19-yard catch and run from Yost before Raikes' second score rounded out the total.
► The early punt block out of a shotgun formation, credited to star senior linebacker Joe Bonczek.
► Raikes' runs, which offered little opportunity for Spirit to stop as the Division I recruit rumbled.
► Down 20-14 a little more than midway through the fourth quarter, the Spartans faced a 4th-and-1 and their own 20-yard line. They sent out an offensive play call. After a false start made it 4th-and-6 at the 15, they still went for it and failed to move the chains. It set St. Augustine up at the 15 with 6 minutes, 19 seconds to play.
► That next possession ended with Raikes' score but on 2nd-and-14 from the 19, a pass went incomplete in the end zone. Moments after the play, a flag came in for an unsportsmanlike call. That moved the Hermits to 3rd-and-5 and Raikes did the rest.
By the numbers
4 – Turnovers on the night forced by Prep's defense, three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
255 – Yards gained by the Spartans.
159 – Yards gained by the Hermits
► Raikes: His red zone presence made for two of Prep's three touchdowns.
► Shorter: Intercepted two passes and hauled in a 30-yard score.
► Nasir Hill: Made an outstanding interception that halted Spirit momentum in the third frame. Friday marked his first varsity game at cornerback.
► Genera: Back after time off due to a broken wrist, he made his presence felt on offense with five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. He also sacked Allen on defense. Though visibly hobbled throughout, the 6-foot-4 junior showed his skillset.
► Preston: Took a nasty hit up high and still returned to lead the Spartans' in receiving with 72 yards and added 20 more on the ground.
They said it
“That's basically what they say, 'We need you to run them all over.'” – Raikes on what coaches tell him in practice when he gets in at running back.
► Holy Spirit gets a shot to win the West Jersey Football League's Royal Division title with a 7 p.m. road trip to Kingsway next Friday.
► St. Augustine visits winless Cherokee on Friday at 7 p.m.
Mark Trible: @Mtrible; (856) 486-2424; email@example.com