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Chaminade defense's greatest challenge: Containing Friars' offense

St. Anthony's running back Jordan Gowins, No. 23,

St. Anthony's running back Jordan Gowins, No. 23, tries to get by Holy Trinity defender Earl Myers, No. 6, during this CHSFL game held in Hicksville. Gowins scored two touchdowns for the Friars in the first half. (Sept. 14, 2013) Credit: Jack McCoy

St. Anthony's and Chaminade have separated themselves from the rest of the CHSFL -- again. They are in a reloading cycle for 2014. Interestingly, Chaminade has taken on the personality of its head coach Stephen Boyd, a former Pro Bowl linebacker for Detroit, and will win a lot of games with a rugged defense.

St. Anthony's, the CHSFL's defending champion, and winners of 11 of the past 14 titles, hails the return of halfback Jordan Gowins, who became only the third junior to win the prestigious Hansen Award, given to Suffolk's top football player.

So begs the question, can Chaminade's stout defense stymie the Boston College-bound Gowins and the Friars' offense?

Gowins opened his season in spectacular fashion with a five-touchdown, 250-yard rushing performance against St. Joseph's Collegiate of Buffalo in Friday night's 49-16 win.

So maybe Chaminade can -- but it definitely won't be easy.

"He's a step faster," St. Anthony's coach Rich Reichert said. "He's catching the ball better and his confidence is through the roof."

St. Anthony's also has an enormous offensive line with Tom Dennis and Brennan Walsh. And the development of the defense anchored by Corbett, who had three sacks in the opener, will determine where this team finishes.

"We're really excited about our offense, but the defense is a work in progress," Reichert said.

Chaminade won the CHSFL in 2012 and its ferocious defense is led by John Fowler, Brian Goulard and sack master Teddy Capsis. The Flyers will have a huge void at quarterback after Sean Cerrone, the CHSFL's offensive player of the year, graduated.

Holy Trinity can score with quarterback Cameren Hayes airing it out to Earl Myers but can the Titans stop anyone on defense?

And Kellenberg is looking to rebound from a one-win season.

One CHSFL team that's on the move is St. John the Baptist. The Cougars have looked formidable in scrimmages and will move into the top division this season.

For the first time, there will be a state Catholic school title game, matching NY CHSFL winner against the winner of the Buffalo Catholic League. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 29, the day off between LICs on Friday (at Hofstra) and Sunday (at Stony Brook). No site has been selected but Reichert said he's hoping for Yankee Stadium, which hosts the PSAL title game, or Hofstra, which is available that day.

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