Fordham Prep’s mission going into Sunday’s CHSFL Class AA semifinal against St. Joseph by the Sea was a simple one: Go out and win the final game at Coffey Field and send the seniors out with a bang.
Led by juniors James Drago and Logan Williamson, the Rams defeated the Vikings, 28-8, to advance to the title game for the first time since 2006. Fordham Prep will take on Kellenberg in the final Saturday at Mitchel Athletic Complex.
The Firebirds defeated Holy Trinity in the other semifinal.
“It felt really good to score and help my team,” said Williamson, who had three touchdowns. “I was set up well by guys like Drago. We played awesome. Our defense shut them down and held them to only one touchdown. They definitely won it for us.”
With 2:41 left in the first half, Williamson put Fordham Prep (5-5) in front 7-0 on a 5-yard touchdown run.
The score remained that way until early in the third quarter when Williamson scored on a 1-yard burst set up by a 31-yard pass from James McHale to Ben Andreycak to increase the Rams lead to 14-0 with 10:18 left in the third.
St. Joseph by the Sea (2-8) responded as John Diaz scored on a 12-yard touchdown run and added the 2-point conversion to cut the Vikings deficit to 14-8 with 4:01 left in the third.
“Their defense really played their hearts out,” said Diaz, who had 34 carries for 133 yards. “We missed a lot of opportunities, a lot of missed blocks. I’m disappointed that we lost, but I’m happy that as a senior we were able to at least make it this far.”
Added Sea coach Rich Clark: “Fordham’s a good football team. My guys didn’t come out ready to play. There’s a low margin for error in these types of games, and we made too many mistakes in this one. We tried hard and definitely belonged here. I wish it could’ve ended differently.”
With 25 seconds left in the third, McHale connected with Williamson on a 9-yard touchdown, sending the Rams into the fourth quarter with a 21-8 lead.
Drago, who had 23 carries for 118 yards, capped the scoring with a 21-yard touchdown with 52 seconds left in what Rams coach Pete Gorynski called his team’s “most complete game of the year.”
“We played our most complete game of the year today,” Gorynski said. “Our defense did a great job. We had no turnovers and our juniors are really emerging as great players. Our game plan is to stop [Kellenberg quarterback Matt] McDaniels, who is a tremendous athlete and who hurt us last time we faced them. We will watch videos and prepare/practice all week.”