There's a 1-2 punch with this St. Anthony's offense that may be the best on Long Island this year. The halfback tandem of junior Jordan Gowins and senior Naim Jones, better known as thunder and lightning in South Huntington, was too much for previously unbeaten Chaminade Friday night in a CHSFL showdown of title contenders.
Gowins ripped off touchdown runs of 67 and 39 yards on his way to 185 yards on 14 carries as St. Anthony's beat Chaminade, 38-10, before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 6,000.The largest crowd ever at St. Anthony's rimmed the perimeter of the field standing more than 10 deep to get a glimpse of the top two teams in the CHSFL.
"They came to see a show and we gave them one," said Gowins, who leads all of Long Island with 1,349 yards rushing. "Our line just blew them off the ball."
Jones complemented the hard running of Gowins with another 102 yards on nine carries and one touchdown. But the guy that pulled it all together was senior quarterback Greg Galligan, who put out his own highlight reel. Galligan completed 12 of 14 passes for 138 yards, including a 4-yard scoring strike to Jones in the third quarter.
Galligan's timing and feel for the speed option had the Chaminade defense guessing all game. He added an 8-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run to cap the scoring. His passing ability gave the Friars another dimension and enough balance to dominate the CHSFL's top defense. The Friars totaled 476 yards of offense.
"If we don't turn it over we are scary," St. Anthony's coach Rich Reichert said. "This is a dynamic offense and our defense can play, too."
Time of possession is overrated. Just ask Chaminade. The Flyers ran 21 first-quarter offensive plays to just one for St. Anthony's -- and they trailed. St. Anthony's (7-1, 7-0) scored on all four first-half possessions to open a 24-10 lead.
"I'm feeling very comfortable in the offense," Galligan said, "and we're all in rhythm."
John Curylo hit a 30-yard field goal to give Chaminade a 3-0 lead with 6:14 left in the first quarter. St. Anthony's responded immediately. On the first play from scrimmage, Gowins went up the middle, broke a tackle and bounced outside and raced 67 yards for a touchdown. Rob Fuentes added the extra-point kick for a 7-3 lead.
Chaminade (7-1, 6-1) put together an 11-play drive but the march stalled when Joe Sotomayor sacked Sean Cerrone on third down, moving the Flyers out of field-goal range.
Fuentes added a 34-yard field goal as St. Anthony's extended the lead to 10-3 with 7:40 left in the half. But Chaminade answered with a six-play, 77-yard scoring drive keyed by two Cerrone runs that totaled 54 yards. John Tigh caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cerrone. Curylo's kick tied it at 10 with 4:48 left.
Three plays later, Gowins rumbled 39 yards for his second touchdown and a 17-10 lead with 3:55 left and Jones added his 5-yard touchdown run with 1:21 left to make it 24-10 at the half.