St. Joseph (Mont.) found itself facing an early 14-point deficit, but rather than change its plans, the Green Knights just kept running. Thanks to the trio of Luke Tucci, John Forster and Yasin Willis, not only did St. Joseph, No. 5 in the NJ.com Top 20, run its way back in the game, it ran away, as it rallied for a 63-49 victory over St. Anthony’s of Long Island at SHI Stadium in Piscataway.
As a team, St. Joseph (2-2) ran the ball 63 times for 523 yards and eight touchdowns. Luke Tucci gave the Green Knights their first lead of the game at 42-35 on a 15-yard touchdown with 3:27 left in the third quarter. Tucci, a senior, put St. Joseph ahead for good with 5:41 remaining in the fourth with a 2-yard touchdown run that snapped a 49-49 tie. Three minutes later, Yasin Willis put the game away with his third touchdown of the night, a 15-yard score with 2:40 left.
Willis finished with 107 yards on 18 carries for St. Joseph. Tucci smashed his career-high for rushing with 213 yards and two TDs on 23 carries and John Forster ran the ball 10 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns.
Forster, a sophomore, put St. Joseph on the scoreboard with a 57-yard TD run just 66 seconds into the second quarter. St. Anthony’s pushed the lead back up to 14 when Dante Torres connected with Ian Strong for a 76-yard TD pass just 56 seconds later. But the Green Knights answered, first with a Willis 10-yard TD, followed by a 22-yard TD pass from Joey Gaston to Donovan McKoy that tied it at 21-all with 3:48 remaining in the half. St. Anthony’s regained the lead on a 9-yard TD pass from Torres to KJ Duff with 2:33 left, but Willis’ 2-yard TD run just 27 seconds later knotted it all up at 28. Torres capped off a wild second quarter that featured seven touchdowns when he connect with Strong for his third TD catch of the opening half, a 9-yard strike with 42 seconds remaining.
St. Anthony’s lead disappeared just 2:48 into the third quarter on Forester’s 22-yard TD run. With 3:27 left in the period, Tucci gave St. Joseph its first lead of the night at 42-35.
Gaston ran for 61 yards on eight attempts while also completing 7-of-12 passes for 107 yards.
For St. Anthony’s, Torres completed 22-of-39 passes for 452 yards and four touchdowns while also running for 76 yards and a TD on 14 carries. Strong had four catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns and Duff finished with seven catches for 125 yards and a score.
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