The Most Holy Redeemer JV football team had only one blemish on its schedule this season, a 7-0 loss in Week 2 to St. Cajetan.
Given a chance to avenge that loss, the Raiders did not disappoint.
Behind a dominant performance from its stable of running backs and strong line play up front, Most Holy Redeemer (MHR) claimed a convincing 25-0 victory over the St. Cajetan Warriors on Nov. 3 at Marist High School to win the Southside Catholic Conference JV championship.
“We have some really solid, good fundamental players on the line and backs who are great kids and run hard,” Coach Dean Reidy said. “They play hard and do everything we ask them to do fundamentally. They believe in everything we coached them in. I’m so proud of these guys.”
MHR finished the season 8-1.
It was the JV’s team first championship since 2016; the Raiders also won titles in 2009 and 1978.
The 2019 edition featured a heavy dose of running led by Danny Speski (184 rushing yards, 3 TD) and Tommy Hosty (103 rushing yards, TD). Speski scored all 3 of his touchdowns in the first quarter as MHR went up 19-0 and never looked back.
Speski scored on runs of 47, 30 and 36 yards.
“We have players moving from position to position week to week,” Reidy said. “The kids stepped up, and no one complained. Everyone did a great job.”
The offensive line includes Jack Watson, Ben Strimel, Joe Kwilose, Colin Goggin, Tim Harkins, Cormac Molloy and Finn Ryan.
Hosty sealed the win in the third quarter with a 67-yard TD scamper on a third-down play.
Kyle Keyser recovered a kickoff following Speski’s first TD. The Raiders scored again 4 plays later less than four minutes into the game.
Watson, Ronin Haran, Harkins, Brendan Dickman (INT), Brendan Tomkins and Anthony Fratto made timely plays on defense for MHR.
The Raiders were motivated by their early-season loss to the Warriors.
“We felt like we didn’t play our best game the first time we played them,” Reidy said. “We know they’re loaded with talent. We had to come prepared, and we made a huge improvement.”
The St. Cajetan JV team made its first championship appearance since 2005, and Coach Matt Winkler said his team put up a good fight.
“We only had 22 kids on the team, and six were in sixth grade,” Winkler said. “The rest were fifth-graders. Our sixth-graders were leaders, and the fifth-graders were tough kids who worked really well together. They never gave up.”
The sixth-graders include Patrick Breakey, Connor Elenteny, Finhbar Kelly, Peter Ludwig, Marty Nitsche, Quinn Nolan and Stephen Winkler (36 rushing yards).
Running back Cullen Winters rushed for 39 yards for the Warriors.
“These kids got a lot out of this year,” Coach Winkler said. “They should be very proud of the opportunity, especially being here for the first time since 2005.”
The MHR roster includes Molloy, Frank Miceli, Dickman, Emmett Senger, Brendan Tomkins, Haran, Dominic Lullo, Speski, Fratto, Finn Ryan, Francis Garafalo, Jack Rourke, Dylan Cody, George Coruthers, Ryan Burns, Joseph Camer, Connor O’Leary, Joseph Doyle, Hosty, Keyser, Strimel, Timothy Reidy, Watson, Harkins, Ryan Hammelman, Goggin, Matthew Pikus, Francis Heaney, Kwilose, Dylan O’Leary, Seamus Blake, Joseph Hughes and Joseph Clark. Reidy is assisted by Steve Stratton, Brian Harmon and Marty Racz.
The St. Cajetan roster includes Nolan, Winters, Mason Sinks, Patrick Coakley, Timothy Swanson, Kelly, Michael Flynn, Matthew Murzyn, Declan O’Brien, Winkler, Robert Flynn, Michael Carr, Daniel Leyden, Breakey, Elenteny, Lucas Zientek, Finegan McDonough, Nitsche, Peter Ludwig, Michael McLean, Jacob Soto, Nicholas Gall and Emmett Breakey. Winkler is assisted by Scott McLean, Tim Weber and Mike Lopez.