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Mount falls to Xaverian

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Mount St. Michael hoped it had turned a corner. The Mountaineers rallied for a thrilling come-from-behind win at home against St. Francis Prep last week and thought the momentum would carry over into an important game against Xaverian.

“We though the win last week was going to get things going for us,” Mount senior fullback/linebacker Gary Acquah said.

Outside of a first quarter safety the Mountaineers never got rolling. They failed to take advantage of excellent first-half field position and gave Xaverian and chance to get its footing. Mount St. Michael couldn’t match big plays from the Clippers offense in a 27-8 loss in a CHSFL AAA game at a soggy Kings Bay Field Sunday night.

“We had the ball inside the 30 three times and we didn’t do it,” Mount coach Mario Valentini said. “That changes the whole momentum of the game. We have them backed up and we don’t score.”

His team led 2-0 after a safety off a blocked Xaverian punt on the game’s opening drive. Mount (1-5, 1-5, CHSFL AAA) then had four straight drives in positive territory, but couldn’t muster any points to show for it. One drive ended with a fumbled pitch at the Xaverian 10-yard line, the first of two turnovers, and other saw Tarik Hawkins stopped on a 4th-and-5 on the Clippers 18-yard line late in the first quarter.

“Early on the defense was doing its job,” said Acquah, who rushed for 62 yards on 14 carries. “We just couldn’t get the ball down the field. We were basically starting to back and forth with them.”

Xaverian freshman running back Zack Kearney finally broke free for a 49-yard touchdown to start the second quarter, the first of two scores of that length for him on the day. The second came right before halftime to give the Clippers (4-3, 3-3) at 13-7 lead. The advantage ballooned to 27-2 on a Tushaun Plummer 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth. Michael Perrotta scored from a yard out for Mount with less than one minute remaining in the game.

“In the locker room people were talking about slipping and sliding, but they were playing on the same type of field as us,” Acquah said.

The loss puts a serious dent in any hope of Mount earning a spot in the CHSFL Class AAA playoffs. A win would have put them ahead of Xaverian for the final spot.

“Whatever the reason was we didn’t show [up] to play,” Valentini said “Coming off last week’s win we thought we would have put a little bit more together.”

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