DANVERS — Two minutes and 11 seconds was all that stood between the St. John’s Prep football team and one of Thanksgiving Day’s biggest upsets.
The Eagles had taken a two-point lead at that juncture and were on the verge of upsetting their Catholic Conference rival, Super Bowl-bound Xaverian. But the visiting Hawks drove 66 yards downfield on the ensuing possession and punched in the game-winning touchdown to prevail, 28-22, at Cronin Stadium.
When Prep quarterback Michael Geaslen found sophomore Jack Lambert with a 5-yard touchdown pass with 2:11 to play, it gave the Eagles (6-5) a 22-20 lead. Although the extra point was blocked, a victory would have given the Prep a share of the Catholic Conference with Xaverian.
But Hawks QB Jake Farrell had other plans. He completed his team’s final drive with a 23-yard scoring strike to A.J. King, who caught it along the left sideline and dove into the end zone. Farrell hit Nick Colantuoni with a 2-point conversion pass to account for the game’s final points.
With just 24 seconds remaining, St. John’s reached the Hawks’ 24-yard line after Logan Mahoney grabbed a 13-yard pass from Geaslen. But Geaslen — who broke Brian St. Pierre’s school record for passing yards in a season (1,216) yesterday, was unable to find a receiver on the game’s final play.
St. John’s had 24 seconds remaining on the clock, and moved the ball to the Xaverian 24 after Logan Mahoney caught a 13-yard pass from Geaslen. But on the final play of the game Geaslen was unable to find an open receiver.
““I can’t believe how physical this game was; not dirty but hard hitting, hard fought. They were certainly not thinking ahead to the Super Bowl, it was all about beating us,” St. John’s Prep head coach Jim O’Leary said about Xaverian.