SCH quarterback Mike Hayes christened the school’s new football field last Saturday. (Photo by Jody Kessler)

by Jody Kessler
Springside Chestnut Hill opened play at the school’s brand new football field Saturday, Sept. 15 but did not manage to christen the new turf with a win
The Cahillites of Roman Catholic – proving to be the Catholic League power house they are supposed to be – topped the home team 42-7 in the non-league tilt on what otherwise was a perfect, sunny afternoon.

The game was part of a tough non-league schedule for SCH, which has done very well in its own InterAc league, earning a piece of the legaue championship in 2009 (it tied with Haverford School and Malvern Prep).

“The start of the year we have a very tough non-league schedule, to prepare for the Inter-Ac league and try towin it every year,” said coach Rick Knox before kickoff. “Our depth is a little down this year but I really like the way this group of kids is working, our toughness. we’re excited about this game today, one of the best teams in the city on our new field.”

Roman won the coin toss and elected to receive. Talented running back Dmetri Kelly started the drive for Romanwith a nine-yard run. He would have two more nine yard runs on the drive, part of a day in which he rushed for 94 and also caught passes good for 55 yards.

The Cahillites took a chance on a fourth down play and converted when Malik Jones ran for 20 yards. He would rush for 144 for the day. Patrick McCourt punched it in for a touchdown from six yards.

SCH did a good job answering the drive.

First Bobby Keyes returned the kickoff for 29 yards to set SCH up with good field position. Then the senior rushed for six yards and, after an incompletion, he ran for a first down.

Quarterback Michael Hayes then scrambled for 15 yards. An option play to Cole Hoffman produced a first down, and then Hoffman caught a ball for another. Finally sophomore Paul Dooley reeled in a 19 yard touchdown pass from Hayes to knot the score at 7.

Kelly answered for Roman Catholoic, rushing for 52 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown run. SCH couldn’t answer.

Roman then scored again, this drive highlighted by a jumping 28-yard catch by Notre Dame-bound wideout Will Fuller. Fuller made catches totaling 65 yards on the day, displaying great hands and speed.

SCH had to punt again on their next drive before Roman scored again, making it 28-7 at the half. Roman quarterback Michael Keir was on his way to throwing for 239 yards leading the high powered offense.

The second half was not very exciting. SCH held Roman to only two more touchdowns, an improvement over the first half, but the team failed to score. The loss drops the Blue Devils to a disappointing 0-3.

“I thought the effort was there but the technique and execution wasn’t,” said SCH’s Keyes. “We have to tackle through the legs.”

When asked what they could do to improve he said Keyes promised to do more work.

“Come in on Tuesday, really pay attention on film,” he said.

“We weren’t mentally prepared for the game,” SCH quarterback Hayes said. “We have to be consistent, get prepared. It should have been a closer game.”

The Blue Devils face Imhotep Charter School at home next week. Imhotep is currently 3-0 and most is coming off a crushing defeat of Roxborough High School, 54 -0.