By Larry Moko
Action Jaxon strikes again.
With running back/defensive back Jaxon Ciraolo-Brown leading the way, the Cathedral Gaels overcame a 13-point deficit en route to a 35-19 victory over the visiting Bishop Ryan Celtics in a Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic high school football game Wednesday.
Ciraolo-Brown scored five touchdowns as Cathedral improved its record to 2-0 in the senior standings. It was BR’s season debut.
“I don’t think so,” Ciraolo-Brown said when asked if he’s ever had five touchdowns in one game before.
“We got good lead blocks and our receivers were working lots of downfield blocks. Blocking is key.”
In other games, the defending champion St. Thomas More Knights won for the second straight week – 56-7 over the St. Mary Crusaders (0-2) – and the Cardinal Newman Cardinals evened their record at 1-1 with a 43-7 decision over the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves (0-2).
Ciraolo-Brown, who is 6-foot, 195 pounds, rushed for TDs covering 9, 25, 55 and 45 yards. And, defensively, he intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards for the Pick 6.
“We knew about Jaxon and tried to keep the ball away from him,” said coach Darren Maludzinski, whose Celtics led 13-0 midway through the second quarter. “Jaxon is too good an athlete to shut down totally.
“Hats off to Cathedral. They worked hard. They got their bearings. They always have a lot of fight in them. They deserved to win. Offensively, we weren’t able to move the ball consistently.”
The Celtics opened the scoring when offensive lineman Anthony Oddi picked up his teammate’s fumble near the goal line and took it into the end zone. Jacob Patten added the convert as well as field goals of 25 and 17 yards.
Bishop Ryan running back Levar Anderson then capped the scoring late in the fourth quarter with a 95-yard punt return touchdown.
“We faced adversity head on, made some adjustments and played much better football in the second half,” Cathedral coach Anthony Tassone said. “I think our defensive line played well today.”
As for Ciraolo-Brown, Tassone said: “Jaxon worked hard in the off season (with the Hamilton Varsity Tiger-Cats) to get where he’s at.”
According to Tassone, receiver, safety and punt returner Dion Renaud also performed well, providing the Gaels “that spark whenever you need it.”
Maludzinski believes the Celtics have a strong team, but need to get back to the drawing board.
Source: Marnie Jadon