Holy Trinity's Michael Williams is surrounded by Iona Prep. defenders....

Holy Trinity's Michael Williams is surrounded by Iona Prep. defenders. Iona Prep won 31-21. (Sept. 18, 2010) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Chris Laviano and Nick Ferreiro were terse, their bitterness about the loss not at all veiled or even slightly mitigated by individual performances.

Laviano connected with his wideout for three touchdowns but, as Ferreiro would say, "It wasn't enough." Holy Trinity, the CHSFL's preseason No. 2 seed, was upset by host Iona Prep, 31-21, Saturday.

The Titans defense, which held quarterbacks to a 47 percent completion rate last season, couldn't limit the Gaels' big plays, and couldn't contain Timothy Perley.

"Iona took chances and were successful with it," said Holy Trinity coach Tony Mascia, whose team is 1-1. "It's just one of those things."

The Gaels beat single coverage outside, hitting a number of deep throws and breaking into the secondary on quarterback draws. "They're great, but they run a lot of 'Zero' coverage," Perley, the quarterback, said of the Titans. "Everything is man and they press the line. They'll get sacks, but you also have the chance for big plays."

Iona Prep took a 6-0 lead at 3:23 in the first quarter on Jack Stillwagon's 42-yard catch-and-run touchdown, though the two-point conversion run failed. The Gaels (1-1) then went up 12-0 at 10:12 in the second when the Titans' 10-play, 60-yard drive was ended by cornerback Travon Malone, who returned an interception 82 yards for a score.

Perley's 27-yard touchdown made it 18-0 before Ferreiro struck with 4:18 left in the half. Laviano threw a quick, 5-yard out to the split end and he put a stutter step on the defender before stiff-arming him to the ground near the sideline and motoring to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown.

"He's a great player," Laviano said of his receiver. "He just knows how to get open and score."

Any momentum created by that play didn't carry over into the second half, however, as Iona Prep opened the third quarter with an 11-play drive that resulted in Sidney Weston's 8-yard run that put them up 24-7 at 7:32. Weston scored again on a 7-yard run to start the fourth.

The Titans rallied, though. On a third-and-goal from the 6, Laviano hit Ferreiro on a slant for a touchdown with 8:09 left. The defense then got a quick stop and Laviano put together a nifty drive that ended with Ferreiro scoring on a 16-yard post with 5:26 to go.

"We're resilient," Mascia said. "We fought back late . . . Any little positive we can take from this, we'll build on."

Ferreiro thinks there's positive to be extracted from the negative.

"You never want to lose, but in the long run it might be a good thing. A lot of the guys have never lost in the regular season," the senior said. His team's only loss last year came to St. Anthony's in the final. "Maybe this brings us back to reality."

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