Three games into the season, St. Cajetan varsity football Coach Mike Murray has seen his offense pile up the points.
With a 3-0 record, the Warriors are averaging 29 points. But as good as the offense has been, Murray has to tip his cap to the defense.
Playing at Kennedy Park in its Homecoming game, St. Cajetan rolled to 28-0 victory on Sept. 15 over St. Barnabas in Southside Catholic Conference action.
“As good as our offense has been, I think our defense might be even better,” Murray said. “Everyone is just jamming to the ball, and the guys are getting into it. They’re buying in, and they’re really hustling. It’s unbelievable to see.”
Josh Kroll, Ryan Kenney, Owen Schickel, Myles Maloney and Wyatt Williamson were the stars for the St. Cajetan defense.
St. Barnabas dropped to 1-2 following an impressive comeback win in Week 2 over St. Christina, a 26-16 victory.
For St. Cajetan, Schickel did double duty, starting off the scoring with a hard-fought 24-yard run through the Buckeyes defense.
He added a 17-yard run in the third quarter to extend the lead to 28-0.
Quarterback Ryan Hartz hit receiver Jimmy Deacy down the sideline with a pretty teardrop throw for a 22-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Matt Regan closed the first half with a 9-yard run for a score.
“This is probably the most balanced team since I’ve been here,” Murray said. “They’re all tough. They run hard. Our guys still developing; they’re feeding off our leaders. They’re all getting better.”
St. Cajetan now heads into a Week-4 battle with St. Catherine, a rematch of the 2017 Southside Catholic Conference Gold Ball game, which St. Catherine won 32-8.
Murray isn’t adding any more hype to the upcoming contest.
“We don’t want to over blow it, but it’s a big game,” Murray said. “No pressure on the game, just play hard and do what you’re supposed to do; see where the chips go.”
In the tough loss, St. Barnabas received a huge defensive effort from defensive back Nicholas Maguire with 2 interceptions.
Coach Mark Kelly also credited Nolan Baudo and Eric Lewis for their strong play on both sides of the ball.
In the Week-2 win against St. Christina, the Buckeyes fell behind 16-0 but rattled off 26 unanswered points to clinch the win.
“Our kids have showed a lot of resiliency in some tough situations,” Kelly said. “We were outmatched today, but the kids kept fighting.”
The St. Cajetan roster includes Aidan Murray, Jimmy Deacy, Luke Drew, Kevin Fergus, Danny Burke, Patrick Mahanes, Ryan Hartz, Sean Winstead, Billy Roche, Owen Schickel, Ryan Walsh, Liam Nolan, Matt Regan, Jon Butler, Liam Bartishell, Vince Winters, Myles Maloney, Mac Murzyn, John Lietz, David Lyle, Brendan Tait, John Fitzpatrick, Jimmy McCool, Griffen Haggerty, Danny Morris, Charlie Connolly, Josh Kroll, Ryan Kenney, Wyatt Williamson and Jack Welniak. Murray is assisted by Matt Winkler, Scott McLean, Tom Brown, Phil McNally, Duke Baffoe and Jim Letz.
The St. Barnabas roster includes Nolan Baudo, Michael Gawne, Quinn Looney, Nicholas McGuire, Danny Byrne, Timothy Daigler, Bryce Griffin, Jake Courtney, Cameron Slavin, Eric Lewis, Kevin Williams, Owen Cooney, Sean Burke, Dominic Valente, Dominic Heidy, Patrick Esselman, Eoin Crowley, Jacob Lawler, Brady Courtney, Sam Quiroz and Quinn Kelly. Kelly is assisted by Brian Courtney, John Byrne, Jamie Lawler and Mike Cooney.