Wild, high-scoring games have become the norm for Xavier, but this one may have reached a new level of absurdity.
Senior running back Seamus Kelly scored a career-high seven touchdowns, six of which came in the first half, to help Xavier beat visiting Cardinal Hayes, 86-42, in CHFSL ‘AA-A’ football Saturday. Kelly was a touchdown away from tying the state record of eight, according to coach Chris Stevens.
“Eighty-six points is pretty unheard of,” the Rockaway native said. “I don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. I’d rather shut teams out then have to score 86 to win comfortably.”
Kelly rushed for 291 yards and five touchdowns and had 478 all-purpose yards. The senior added a 72-yard touchdown catch and an 85-yard kick-off return for a score, the first of his career, in the second quarter for a Xavier attack, which ran just 18 plays. He opened the game with a 57-yard touchdown run and added TD runs of 71, 57, 35 and 50 yards.
“The offensive line was opening up such big holes that all I had to do was run through them and beat the corner backs,” he said.
Xavier (4-1, 4-1) took a 57-30 lead into the half against Hayes, which was struggled to defend the single-wing attack. The lead grew to 65-30 when Jack Wilson, who rushed for three scores, ran for a 54-yard touchdown. On the next possession, Wesley Lawyer took a toss 51 yards for a score for Hayes, which then recovered the ensuing onside kick. This set up a 40-yard strike from Kwamayne Davis (4 TDs) to Chris Chapman, who had two scores, to cut the lead to 65-42. Chris Tellone then returned the ensuing onside kick 50 yards for the first touchdown of his career to give Xavier a 73-42 lead.
Bryant McAdoo had two touchdowns catches of 60 yards for Hayes (3-3, 3-2).
“We didn’t expect to come in and score 86 and didn’t expect them to score 42,” Stevens said. “We have become very conditioned [to wild games]. I don’t like that kind of football, but we can score.”
Kelly had a chance for the record-tying eighth touchdown late in fourth quarter, but neither he nor Stevens felt it was appropriate to insert him back into the game and didn’t know how close he was to the record.
But his team’s record and its scoring outputs have Kelly feeling more confident in its offense, which is averaging 54 points a game this season.
“It feels like the only thing that can stop us from winning is getting outscored,” Kelly said, “and it is tough to do.”