St. John’s Prep responds to Marshfield challenge, 41-20

MARSHFIELD — St. John’s Prep title defense began with a victory.

Cam LaGrassa rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns as St. John’s Prep overcame a furious second-half comeback from host Marshfield and opened the 2023 season with a 41-20 win on Friday night.

Eagles junior quarterback Deacon Robillard threw for two touchdowns.

“We’re young in some spots and (Marshfield) is a really good team but we were able to regather the rope once they made a run,” said St. John’s Prep coach Brian St. Pierre. “Our running backs ran hard and the offensive line stepped up.”

St. John’s Prep held a 28-0 lead at the break but Marshfield came storming back in the third quarter. Reid Bergamesca hauled in a 34-yard touchdown reception from Tor Maas on the Rams first drive of the half. After a Prep three and out, Davin True got to the outside on a handoff and took off for a 48-yard touchdown run to trim the deficit to 28-13.

Moments later, Jake Ekstrom came through with a crucial defensive play, batting up a screen pass and corralling it for an interception before True rushed home from six yards out to make it a one possession game.

St. John’s Prep, however, answered. A seven-play drive culminated in a 37-yard touchdown reception from tight end Mason McSweeney. After a Rams turnover on downs, LaGrassa and fellow back Dylan Aliberti combined for eight rushes that went for 55 yards and ended in LaGrassa’s third score of the night to put the game on ice.

“Marshfield is very well coached and does their system very well,” St. Pierre said. “Our experienced guys settled us down.”

The Eagles struck on their first drive of the game, marching 90 yards capped off by a 38-yard touchdown run by Aliberti to go in front 7-0. St. John’s dominated the second quarter outscoring the Rams 21-0 with two scores by LaGrassa and another by Gael Garcia to take a 28-0 lead into the locker room.

Marshfield entered St. John’s Prep territory on its first four drives of the game but did not have anything to show for it on the scoreboard.

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