NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The second-seeded Iona Prep football team will start its quest for a state championship when it hosts No. 7 Xaverian on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The two teams will meet in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Class AAA playoffs.
Iona Prep (7-1) defeated Xaverian (2-6) in Brooklyn, 41-10, in week four of the regular season. The Gaels are on a five-game winning streak and their lone loss of the season came in week three with a 34-31 defeat at the hands of Chaminade.
Quarterback Mario Biaggi leads Iona Prep’s high-powered offense. The Gaels averaged about 39 points per game in the regular season and never scored fewer than 30 points in a single game.
Iona Prep’s defense has also served them well. The Gaels have given up just a little more than 14 points per game this season. In their past five games, the Gaels have allowed slightly fewer than eight points per game and have not allowed more than 14 points in the past five weeks.
Xaverian has not fared nearly as well this season. The Clippers have allowed a little more than 34 points per game this season and gave up 35 points or more in five games.
But Xaverian has showed it is capable of putting up points this year. The Clippers averaged almost 23 points per game this season, including single-game totals of 53, 35, 34 and 31 points.
Unfortunately, Xaverian has been a feast-or-famine team. In its other four games, the team mustered just 10, seven, six and six points.
The Gaels have all the necessary tools to advance to the semifinals, and momentum is also on their side. If Xaverian has one of its strong offensive performances, it could give Iona Prep a problem. But the Gaels have locked down opposing offenses for weeks, so the Clippers could be in for a long afternoon.