St. Anthony's coach Rich Reichert got a victory, a game ball and a slice of Suffolk County high school football history Friday night at Cy Donnelly field in South Huntington.
Reichert's Friars defeated Holy Cross, 28-0, to give him the 212th victory of his career, breaking a tie with Joe Cipp Jr. of Bellport for the most in Suffolk history. "You've got to be doing this a long time to get this kind of record," said Reichert, in his 26th season at his alma mater. He is 212-50-3, but just 1-2 this season as St. Anthony's lost its first two games after a 29-game winning streak. "There's a little relief," he acknowledged. "It took us three weeks to finally sing the fight song."
Which he and the Friars all did, in unison, on the field, following a brief postgame ceremony in which St. Anthony's principal Brother Gary Cregan presented Reichert with the game ball. "He is not only the coach with the most wins in a county with so many great coaches," Cregan told the players, "but you will not find a better man walking the halls of St. Anthony's. He is a credit to our school."
The Friars made it easy for their coach with a dominant game on both sides of the ball. Even with quarterback Greg Galligan sitting out a second straight game with a concussion, St. Anthony's had a potent ground-and-pound attack. Fleet sophomore Jordan Gowins, brother of former Bellport and Stony Brook University star Eddie Gowins, scored on touchdown runs of 68, 11 and 8 yards, and finished with 125 yards on 14 carries. "It feels great to do this for coach," Gowins said. "We came out wanting to play a perfect game and we did."
Anthony Anderson added 95 tough yards on 20 carries.
Junior defensive end Joseph Percival sparked the defense with a strip sack that was recovered by Cody Katter in the first quarter, setting up Gowins' second touchdown. Percival also blocked a punt early in the third quarter that was run in for a touchdown by safety Alex Masotto from 20 yards out.
"Coach Reichert is an amazing coach and an amazing human being," Percival said. "We love him. We weren't playing for ourselves tonight, we were playing for him."