Kenny Noe, Kellenberg quarterback, reacts after throwing for a touchdown...

Kenny Noe, Kellenberg quarterback, reacts after throwing for a touchdown as time expired in the second quarter of a CHSFL game against St. Francis Prep at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Saturday. Credit: James Escher

Kenny Noe didn’t know what to think.

When Noe’s Kellenberg football team started the season 0-2, the Firebirds’ senior quarterback almost blamed himself.

“When we went 0-2, I thought, ‘Is it me?’ ” Noe said.

A Newsday Top 100 baseball player and a Monmouth University shortstop commit, Noe returned to the football field this fall after focusing on baseball last year.

On Saturday, he proved himself as a starting quarterback in Kellenberg’s 38-18 win over St. Francis Prep at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale.

“I believe I can do this, and I can lead us,” Noe said. “I’m not just a baseball player. I’m a football player, too.”

Noe rushed for 110 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and threw for 104 yards and a touchdown for the Firebirds (1-2).

Kellenberg avoided an 0-3 start to its season after allowing an average of 48 points per game in the first two losses of the year. The Firebirds never trailed on Saturday and prevented St. Francis Prep (1-2) from breaking big plays to get back in the game.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘must-win’ in September, but it gets tougher and tougher the longer you go without getting one,” Kellenberg coach Eric Meisse said. “When St. Francis scored, they had to work for it.”

Noe rushed for two touchdowns in the first quarter as the Firebirds took a 14-0 lead.

St. Francis Prep opened the second quarter with a 68-yard scoring drive. Jonathan Nguyen caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Zollo to make it 14-6.

Donovan O’Toole restored the Firebirds' two-score lead on the ensuing kickoff. O’Toole fielded the kick on Kellenberg’s 10-yard line, swept through the middle of the field and bounced to the left sideline for a 90-yard touchdown.

“My blockers just set up a perfect opening, and I just kept going,” O’Toole said. “My goal every kickoff is to run to the house, and I did.”

Noe built on that lead before the end of the second quarter, sailing a pass to the right corner of the end zone where Jack Geoghan high-pointed the ball and ripped it from his defender. Kellenberg led 26-6 as the first half expired.

“[Noe] played fantastic,” Meisse said. “We asked him to do a lot, and he doesn’t shy away from anything.”

A 13-play, 65-yard Kellenberg scoring drive opened the second half. Nick Kramer capped it with a 3-yard TD run and put the Firebirds ahead 32-6.

Noe scored his third rushing touchdown from 23 yards out with 1:52 to play in the third quarter and made the score 38-6 before St. Francis Prep scored the final two touchdowns.

"We lost to two pretty good teams early on, and we beat a pretty good team today," Meisse said "So, it’s all about getting better each week and getting better each day."

“We feel like we can go out there and compete with anyone,” Noe added.

Geoghan caught four passes for 69 yards and his second-quarter touchdown, Brendan Galla caught four passes for 34 yards and Jack Barkley rushed for 46 yards on 11 carries.

“The first two weeks, we really weren’t ourselves,” Noe said. “I think we always knew we had it in us, and today, we just unlocked it.”


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months