If you are a Big XII fan, Xaverian's 14-0 win over Brockton Friday night definitely wasn't for you. This was an old-school, bareknuckle brawl between two of the most physical teams in the state.
Here are our main takeaways:
— Xaverian's offensive line play continues to impress. The Hawks have been hit by the injury bug there, but the group found a groove in the second half. Veterans like seniors Lucas Ferraro (6-2, 285), Grant Laws (6-3, 285), and junior Liam Peck (6-2, 260) have guided along the younger, more inexperienced players to form one of the best units in the state. You want any good offensive line to be the type that gets stronger as the game goes along, and that is certainly the case with the Hawks. It should serve them well as the rest of the season unfolds.
— Cooper Deveau was nursing an injury that limited his snaps on offense, so Xaverian's younger skill talent took center stage. Sophomore quarterback and punter Michael Berluti did not throw much, but has an accurate arm and good feet. Fellow sophomores like Connor and Thomas Garland, Luke Thorbahn, Sloane Hubbard, Sam Maloof and junior Justin Wenstrom showed that the Hawks have a deep group of runners, receivers, and blockers for years to come. Wenstrom is also an excellent kicker. The Hawks aren't going anywhere.
— Speaking of young talent, by our rough, unofficial count, the Boxers played at least 14, maybe 15 sophomores and juniors in this game. Sophomore quarterback Devonte Medley flashed some nice accuracy in the first half, and junior Matthew Norman will battle him for the starting job next season. There are a number of young players who stood out for Brockton, but two to keep a special eye on are sophomores Nayvon Reid (6-4, 210) and Jose Depina (6-3, 255). Reid lined up at wide receiver, and Depina at defensive tackle, but both have so much potential and size that they bear watching as prospects on either side of the ball.
— Xaverian coach Al Fornaro over the course of the week could not stop praising Brockton offensive and defensive lineman Segun Okunlola (6-4, 275), and even dropped the common line of how he will be happy when the senior graduates. Okunlola is a prospect who benefitted from a position change of tight end to offensive tackle, and his stock has only gone up this season. Okunlola has the strength, frame, and footwork to be a terrific lineman at the next level, regardless of where he ends up.