St. Joe’s intercepted a St. Francis pass at the goal line with just over a minute left on the clock to secure an 18-13 win for the Marauders and a spot in next Saturday’s Monsignor Martin Association championship at New Era Field.
The opponent will either be Canisius or Cardinal O’Hara, which play at the Stransky Complex today at 1 p.m.
When St. Joe’s visited Polian Family Field in Week 6, the Marauders were the ones driving, down 29-26, with 30 seconds left toward the St. Francis end zone. That’s when a Red Raiders defender picked off QB Casey Kelly at the 1-yard line to seal the win.
The roles were reversed on Friday night.
Junior running back Jaden Lofton (25 carries, 155 yards) opened the scoring for St. Joe’s on a 9-yard scamper late in the first quarter.
St. Francis used a trick play to take a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter. Cole O’Connor threw a halfback option pass to Dan Browning for a 32-yard score. The drive was set up by Dominik Thomas’ fumble recovery, the third takeaway of the game for the Red Raiders.
Kelly put the Marauders back on top on a 6-yard run to cap a 40-yard drive with seven seconds left in the half.
The Marauders extended their lead to 18-7 when Kelly found an open James Walker for a 20-yard pass.
The Red Raiders made it interesting with 4:21 remaining when Browning caught an 80-yard bomb from Jake Ritts.
Phaybian Livingston added 107 yards on nine carries for St. Joe’s. Ronald McCarley intercepted two passes.