BRIDGEWATER — Nursing a 7-0 lead entering the third quarter, No. 4 St. John’s Prep was in search of a big play to distance itself from host Bridgewater-Raynham.
“Big plays, or home runs as we call them, are often the difference in a game,” said Prep coach Jim O’Leary. “When we get in the open field, we have a pair of backs who can get those home runs, and Alex Moore did that for us today.”
Moore took the first snap of the third quarter from the Wildcat formation and sprinted 89 yards for a score to put the visitors up, 14-0. With the two-touchdown cushion, the Eagles (4-1) were then able to hold off the No. 9 Trojans, 20-7, Saturday afternoon.
The visitors used a quick snap to surprise the defense on Moore’s touchdown.
“We caught them off guard with the short count,” Moore said. “We just put that in this week. I got the ball and they weren’t even set. I got around the edge and it was a track meet from there.”
The Trojans (3-2) finally got on the board with 2:25 remaining in the third quarter when Brandon Gallagher scored from 3 yards out to cut the deficit in half.
Both squads traded punts on their next possessions, until Moore came through with another home run. On the first play of the next series, Moore (6 carries, 155 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 48 yards, TD) took a sweep to the outside, eluded two defenders, and tiptoed down the sideline for a 62-yard score with 5:44 to play, effectively putting the game out of reach.
“That was power left, I bounced it to the outside because one of their linebackers made a great play to clog up the hole, so I had to go outside,” Moore said. “I got a block to seal the last defender and I had just enough speed to score.”
Bridgewater-Raynham opened with the first possession of the game and ate 9:22 off the clock before punting. The Eagles needed only four plays to travel 76 yards for a touchdown, as quarterback Jack Sharrio hit Moore on a 35-yard post pattern and a 7-0 lead.
Each team had lengthy drives in the second quarter that ended with turnovers as Gallagher fumbled at the Prep 40 and Sharrio was picked off by Kevin Wadsworth at the Bridgewater-Raynham 34. The Trojans had a chance to score on the final play of the first half, but a 41-yard field goal attempt fell short.
The game was delayed 30 minutes because the Eagles arrived late, as SATs were given in the morning, but O’Leary refused to use any excuses for the slow start.
“It’s the same as going to school all day and playing on Friday night,” O’Leary said. “We go to school for eight hours and play, so what’s the difference?”
Bridgewater-Raynham had two opportunities to score in the final five minutes, but Moore made an interception at the Prep 25 and another drive stalled on fourth down.
Both schools continue with nonleague games next week. Bridgewater-Raynham faces LaSalle (R.I.) on Friday; St. John’s hosts St. John’s of Shrewsbury on Saturday.