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Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012: Chaminade holds off St. Anthony's for CHSFL crown

   Leading off today: Senior Danny Fowler blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt as time expired, preserving Chaminade's 17-16 victory over St. Anthony's in the Catholic High School Football League Class AAA championship game at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Saturday.

   It ended the Friars' three-year reign as champion and raised Chaminade to new heights by snapping a 20-game losing streak to St. Anthony's dating to 1998.

   “Two years I got moved up and we went 0-8,” Fowler told after Chaminade collected the championship trophy for the first time in 14 years. “We were the laughing stock of the league and the school. Last year we came back, picked it up a little bit and went 6-4. To come out to win this and beat [St. Anthony’s] – it’s the first time any senior has beaten them – it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

   St. Anthony tied the game at 14 by opening the second half with a short drive to an 18-yard TD run by Anthony Anderson. Just 1:27 into the fourth quarter, Friars linebacker Dan Carlone took down QB Sean Cerrone for a 6-yard sack and safety for a 16-14 lead.

   Late in the quarter, St. Anthony's faced fourth-and-1 at its own 28 with 2:00 to go. Rather than punt into the wind, the Friars tried to convert the first down but were stuffed. Chaminade drove to Zane Wasp's 33-yard field goal and a 17-16 lead with :47.6 left.

   In the Class AA final, Xavier downed St. John the Baptist 35-14 for the Knights' first championship since 1996. Trey Solomon, the CHSFL’s leading rusher, capped his junior season by carrying for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He also made a late interception to seal the victory.

   Long Island finals: Eric Schweitzer scored six touchdowns as Babylon cruised past Roosevelt 48-18 in the Long Island Class IV championship game.

   Schweitzer scored on runs of 1, 1, 4, 7, 10 and 13 yards en route to the Panthers' first crown since 2008. He added eight tackles at linebacker.

   In Class II, Garden City rallied from a nine-point deficit at the half and defeated Riverhead 29-16 as Brett Stewart scored on a pair of 3-yard runs to wrap up the scoring. Stewart finished with 199 yards and two TDs on 13-for-23 passing and also rushed for 138 yards.

   One to go: New York's football season wraps up Tuesday at Yankee Stadium when Erasmus Hall and Tottenville face off in the PSAL final.


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   Back in fine form: In his first action back after beating cancer (see earlier blog entry), Monroe-Woodbury wrestler Vinny Vespa won all six of his matches at 99 pounds and was named the tournament's outstanding sophomore at the Carlucci Duals.

   Monroe-Woodbury defeated Fox Lane 60-17 in the final to improve to 6-0.

   Disbelief in West Babylon: Friends of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher gathered Saturday outside his childhood home in West Babylon, comforting each other as they tried to make sense of the murder-suicide earlier in the day in Kansas City.

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   Belcher, 25, shot his girlfriend to death in their home and turned the gun on himself shortly afterward in front of his coach and general manager at Arrowhead Stadium. Belcher and Kasandra Perkins, 22, had a 3-month-old girl together.

   Ruben Marshall, Belcher's Police Athletic League coach, said news of the tragedy was stunning to those who knew the player. "I couldn't believe it," he told Newsday. "I didn't want to believe it. He was a good person."

   Belcher was a second-team All-Long Island football player at West Babylon as well as a successful wrestler. Belcher joined the Chiefs in 2009 as an undrafted free agent. He became a starter this season.

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