Catholic Memorial makes a rare trip south – Boston Herald

Catholic Memorial coach John DiBiaso reached out to an old friend in order to help find a new opponent.

With the prospects of not having a game in back-to-back weeks, DiBiaso had a conversation with his former assistant Tony Gulla, who suggested looking in Florida (where he is currently an assistant coach and guidance counselor). One thing led to another and the Knights were able to land a game against Cardinal Newman Friday night in West Palm Beach.

“We looked in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and couldn’t find a game.” DiBiaso said. “Tony said there is a site in Florida where they listed teams looking for a game and we found Cardinal Newman.”

Cardinal Newman (2-0) opened its season with one-sided wins over Monsignor Pace (42-17) and Belen Jesuit (41-0). Luke Warnock has completed 28-of-36 passes for 481 yards and seven touchdowns, while Jaylin Brown (20 carries for 133 yards) and Xanai Scott (nine carries for 53 yards) are the top rushers. The receiving group is deep and talented with Nae’shaun Montgomery (nine catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns) and Dallas DeSouza (six catches for 88 yards and a score) leading the way.

“We do spread the ball around, we have six or seven kids who will be going Div. 1,” said Cardinal Newman coach Jack Daniels. “Sometimes, it’s a problem getting those kids enough touches, but I guess that’s a pretty good problem to have.”

Catholic Memorial earned its 30th consecutive victory with an impressive 41-7 victory over a talented Mansfield team. Mehki Dodd ran for more than 100 yards and two scores, while Peter Bourque ran the offense like a seasoned veteran.

“We had a lot of sophomores and junior step up,” DiBiaso said. “A lot of them were playing in their first varsity game and they did very well.”

Cardinal Newman’s secondary is very talented, led by cornerbacks Ricky Knight (Florida State) and Kevin Levy (Rutgers), while junior Josh Philostin already has 25 Div. 1 offers. It’s no surprise that DiBiaso, who has been blessed with standout skill position players in his four decades on the sidelines, says the Crusaders possess challenges he might not see in Massachusetts.

“They have tremendous skill position players,” DiBiaso said. “We’re definitely going to have to take care of the ball. We’re going to have to do what a lot of teams try to do against us and that’s control the ball.”

Elsewhere on Friday night, the early bird special at Manning Field (5 p.m.) features Winthrop and St. Mary’s (Lynn). Heading into the Merrimack Valley area, Methuen seeks to get back on the winning track when it hosts Marshfield, while Tewksbury travels to Haverhill. The best game in the Hockomock League pits Foxboro and North Attleboro.

There is only Eastern Mass. game on the docket for Saturday but it’s a good one as defending Div. 1 state champion St. John’s Prep hosts Central Catholic.

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