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St. John the Baptist falls to Fordham Prep

St. John The Baptist's Nikita Fitzgerald (3, right)

St. John The Baptist's Nikita Fitzgerald (3, right) looks to gain some yardage around Fordham's Will Randell (2, left) during their game vs Fordham Prep. (Sept. 7, 2013) Credit: Richard T. Slattery

St. John the Baptist ran into a buzz saw named Malik Crossdale Saturday.

Crossdale ran for three touchdowns and 208 yards as Fordham Prep beat the Cougars, 31-8.

"He's a phenomenal football player," SJB coach Keith Schweers said of Crossdale, who is headed for the U.S. Military Academy. "A great downhill runner, he's imposing and when he gets the ball he runs hard no matter what."Lost in the effort was the performance of SJB senior Bryan Sinclair. He had a tremendous afternoon, contributing in all sorts of ways. He had two carries for 20 yards, two receptions for 39 yards, caught a pass to convert a two-point conversion, intercepted a pass, and accumulated 150 kick return yards.

The Rams scored first with a 23-yard field goal by Andrew Sisti in the first quarter to cap a long 13-play drive to begin the game.

In the second quarter, the Rams benefitted from a fumbled snap which they recovered at the Cougars' 14-yard line. They were covered on second down from the 2-yard line on a quarterback sneak from James McHale.

After a quick three-and-out, the Rams took over at midfield and put together an eight-play drive, capped off with Crossdale's 18-yard scamper. This was not an ordinary run; he broke several tackles at the line of scrimmage and exploded past the secondary to give Fordham Prep a 17-0 lead.

Both teams failed to score in the third quarter, which was characterized by punts and turnovers on downs.

The Cougars finally put together a strong drive midway through the fourth, highlighted by an 18-yard reception from Sinclair, and a couple solid runs from Jonathan Wiswall. On fourth down with an opportunity to cut into the lead, they were unable to convert from their 29-yard line.

On the following drive, Crossdale took a handoff around midfield and burned the entire defense for his second touchdown of the day. It effectively put the game away at 24-0.

The Cougars' offense struggled to get going all afternoon. Quarterback Matt Brady's first completed pass came midway through the third quarter. He finished the day 6-for-21 with 73 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The lone touchdown was caught by Paul Usak which made the score 24-6.

The Cougars play again next Sunday.

"They're a very tough opponent," Schweers said. "But first we need to find ourselves."

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