• McQuaid Jesuit quarterback Joe Cairns (7) looks to make a pass.

    McQuaid Jesuit quarterback Joe Cairns (7) looks to make a pass. (Courier photo by John Haeger)

McQuaid Jesuit stopped short in state football championship

Mike Latona/Catholic Courier    |    12.02.2019
Category: Sports


A historic football season for McQuaid Jesuit High School has come to an end, one game short of perfection.

The Knights were halted in their state Class AA championship matchup, 28-0, by New Rochelle on Nov. 30 at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. McQuaid endured its only loss of the year against 12 victories.

McQuaid and New Rochelle engaged in a defensive struggle for much of the first half. The game remained scoreless until New Rochelle’s Gary Phillips III scored on a five-yard run with 2 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the second quarter as the Huguenots went up 7-o. Their lead became 14-0 with 7:39 left in the third period, thanks to a 23-yard touchdown pass play from Tariq Benjamin t0 Anthony Paul Jr. Two long scoring runs by New Rochelle’s Jessie Parson III — from 49 yards away with 2:12 left in the third quarter and from 60 yards out with 7:48 to go in the contest — thwarted any hope of a McQuaid comeback. The Knights were held to 74 total yards for the game.

New Rochelle, a Section 1 team from Westchester County, had reached the state final a year ago before the Huguenots lost to another Catholic high school from Rochester, Aquinas Institute.

McQuaid’s success this season was punctuated by two big wins over Aquinas — 27-21 in a regular-season game back on Sept. 7, and 30-27 in the Section 5 Class AA final Nov. 9 as the top-seeded Knights recovered from a 27-14 halftime hole. For the No. 2 Little Irish, the only blemishes on an otherwise perfect 8-2 record were inflicted by the Knights.

McQuaid, meanwhile, brought home its first Section 5 football championship since 1978 and went on to the first state final in school history. In their other state-tournament games, the Knights won 32-28 over Lancaster of Section 6 in Class AA quarterfinal play Nov. 16 before recording a 42-28 victory over Cicero-North Syracuse of Section 3 in semifinal action Nov. 23.

Copyright © 2019 Catholic Courier, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Sign up for our FREE weekly e-newsletters!

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!