WEST ROXBURY — Catholic Memorial’s glutton of offensive weapons draw much of the attention, and rightfully so, as the Knights’ high-powered offense put St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in a 28-0 hole last night.

But when the offense ran dry over the final 24 minutes and the Pioneers went on a second-half surge, the Knights’ defense showcased that it could make game-changing plays on that side of the ball, too.

Devon Marshall and Zach Mitchell both recorded key second-half interceptions to help top-ranked CM hold off the Pioneers for a 35-20 nonleague victory at James R. O’Connor Stadium.

“(The turnovers) are important,” said CM coach John DiBiaso. “We don’t want to turn the ball over ourselves and the picks helped us. Again, we have to sustain it for four quarters.”

CM’s offensive weapons engineered a dynamic start with Barrett Pratt (8-for-23, 131 yards) connecting on a 48-yard touchdown pass to Owen McGowan on the fourth play from scrimmage to get the Knights (2-0) rolling.

Darrius LeClair (17 rushes, 105 yards) then capped off two 60-plus-yard drives with rushing touchdowns before the lead ballooned even further when Daniel Lopes hauled in a 27-yard touchdown reception for a 28-0 lead with 4:17 left in the second quarter.

Things began to slowly unravel for CM when SJS (0-1) blocked a punt and the Pioneers received two touchdown passes from Colin Schofield (17-of-34, 203 yards, three touchdowns) bridging the second and third quarters to cut the deficit in half.

With CM’s offense stagnate — the Knights completed just one second-half pass — it was up to its defense to stop the Pioneers’ momentum when they threatened for more midway through the third quarter.

Marshall came through, though, picking off an errant Schofield pass, but CM’s defense, which forced six straight punts to begin the contest, was called upon again after the two sides traded scores.

On fourth-and-goal from the CM 12 midway through the fourth quarter, Mitchell intercepted a pass in the end zone and the Knights ran out the final 5:47 to preserve the win.

“(The interceptions) were game-changers,” Mitchell said. “It felt good. I had a lot of drops (offensively). So getting one was good.”

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Source:: Boston Herald


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