Nothing changed Friday night in the Friars’ home opener against CHSFL rival Farrell. Gowins still proved tough to tackle and gained yards in dashes of punishing fury.
And yet, Gowins was overshadowed. Senior quarterback Greg Galligan was simply outstanding passing from the new spread offense. He tossed a pair of first-half touchdowns as St. Anthony’s blew past Farrell, 41-21, before a crowd of 2,000 in South Huntington.
“I’m trying to play my game and you can’t do that without the big boys up front,” said Galligan, who spent time over the summer at IMG Football Academy in Florida with the likes of Vinny Testaverde and Chris Weinke. “One of my biggest problems last year was my confidence. I worked on my mental game to stay on an even keel.”
It showed. Galligan completed 12 of 20 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns.
Farrell senior quarterback Vinny Aranda got the Lions on the board first with a 15-yard keeper just 5 minutes in.
After a promising drive set up by a partially-blocked punt, Farrell (3-1 overall, 2-1 CHSFL) couldn’t gain ground against the Friars’ defense. The defense was led Joe Sotomayor and Joe Percival.
“This is a defense that’s going to get better and better because there’s only three guys who played last year,” St. Anthony’s Coach Rich Reichert said.
The defense has been better than good through four games.
Then the Friars (3-1, 3-0) roared back with 35 straight points, paced by Galligan and Gowins.
Gowins racked up 119 yards by halftime and finished with 148 yards and one score on 20 carries.
And Galligan shined. Where the quarterback was a game manager a year ago, he’s now a playmaker on offense.
“He took a real beating last year running the ball the way he did,” Reichert said. “I think he’s starting to mature and he’s enjoying it more.”
Nothing showed Reichert’s confidence in the signal caller more than one third-quarter sequence. Galligan threw a strike to Michael Russo, who hauled in a 28-yard TD in the end zone on fourth-and-14. That made it 35-7.
“Great throw,” Reichert said.
Gowins gave the crowd a scare with 2:36 left in the third. The trainer stretched his left leg and the back popped up from the turf just fine. Cramp.
Gowins smiled afterward. He's running better than ever. Bad news for the rest of the league.
The Friars host Iona Prep next Saturday at 7 p.m.
Teams………………..1…..2…..3…..4 – F
Farrell……………….7…..0…..0…14 – 21
St. Anthony’s…....14…14….7…..6 – 41
F – Aranda 15 run (Pucciarelli kick)
SA – N. Jones 1 run (Fuentes kick)
SA – Esposito 21 pass from Galligan (Fuentes kick)
SA – Gowins 3 run (Fuentes kick)
SA – N. Jones 15 pass from Galligan (Fuentes kick)
SA – Russo 28 pass from Galligan (Fuentes kick)
F – Lunarola 22 pass from Aranda (Pucciarelli kick)
SA – Killen 4 run (run failed)
F – Viegas 3 run (Pucciarelli kick)