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St. Joseph's Prep flies by Roman Catholic 42-0 to capture Philadelphia Catholic League title

The Hawks took back the crown after failing to win the PCL last season
St. Joseph Prep vs Roman Catholic football Jordyn Bennett3

SPRINGFIELD, Pennsylvania - In the middle of the second quarter of the Philadelphia Catholic League Championship, St. Joseph Prep’s mascot was playfully beating up kids along the gate outside of the field — a metaphor for what was happening on the field, as the Hawks (7-1,4-0) held a 28-0 lead over rival Roman Catholic (7-2,3-1).

What was anticipated to be the battle of the year in Philadelphia quickly became just another day for St. Joe’s as they took the PCL title in a 42-0 blowout.

Hawks head coach Timothy Roken said his team has been on a mission since the offseason after not winning the PCL last year.

“They’ve been pressing for this, but it’s one week at a time,” Roken said. “We had a great week of practice, and it showed by the way we went out there tonight.”

While it was St. Joe’s offense that erupted for 35 points, Roken highlighted his defense, especially the play of senior linebacker Josiah Trotter — the son of former Philadelphia Eagle Jeremiah Trotter — who was returning from injury.

A plethora of defensive stops by Trotter was highlighted by a 20-yard interception return 48 seconds into the second half. He was awarded the game ball during the post-game celebration.

“I just would like to thank God (and) my teammates too for helping me go out there and make plays,” Trotter said. “A lot of film went into this game, a lot of game plans, it just feels good to go out there and get the game ball.”

Trotter’s playmaking left Roman Catholic defeated and depleted immediately.

The Cahillites didn’t earn their initial first down of the game until over four minutes into the second quarter on their third offensive drive when they were bailed out by a pass interference call. To add insult to injury, junior four-star wide receiver Tyseer Denmark left the game in a sling, missing the entire second half.

The Hawks offense on the other hand, seemed to be toying with Roman Catholic to give themselves a challenge.

After being backed up to third down and 35 yards to go, junior quarterback Samaj Jones hit junior wide receiver Elijah Jones on a quick pass in the middle of the field that Jones turned into a 70-yard touchdown less than four minutes into the game.

After a pair of failed attempts by the Cahillites to respond, Samaj Jones found junior running back Khaseem Phillips on a screen pass in the red zone for a score.

Junior running back Phillips punched in a 7-yard touchdown before the Hawks quarterback hit junior wide receiver Brandon Rehmann for a 55-yard touchdown before the end of the half.

Samaj Jones took a big hit from a Roman Catholic defender seconds before the end of the second quarter, leaving him immobile on the turf for quite some time. But the junior would not let that ruin his parade, popping up and gallivanting into the cheers of a happy St. Joe’s crowd.

“It was a good hit, it got me in a good spot right above my hip on the backside,” Samaj Jones said. “(But) I got back up, I’m ready to rock-and-roll. One thing about me is, I’m a tough player — I will never give up on my team. I go up there and die for them every play.”

This game concluded the regular season for both teams. Each will be the top seed in the postseason, with St. Joe’s Prep, the No. 20 team in the SBLive Power 25, being the clear No. 1 seed.

After losing in the state championship last year for the first time since 2018, the Hawks are on a mission to return back to glory.

“Sometimes the losses give you more than the wins,” Roken said. “You can get complacent with all of the wins we’ve had along the way, but as coaches, we do a great job of bringing the level back down and resetting the focus. … All the goals are still ahead of us of what we wanted. It’s just getting better every week, we’ve been getting healthy again (and) we have another bye next week before we make this playoff push.”

St. Joseph Prep vs Roman Catholic football Jordyn Bennett4
St. Joseph Prep vs Roman Catholic football Jordyn Bennett2
St. Joseph Prep vs Roman Catholic football Jordyn Bennett1
St. Joseph Prep vs Roman Catholic football Jordyn Bennett5
St. Joseph Prep vs Roman Catholic football Jordyn Bennett3