Despite falling behind 7-0 after giving up an opening-drive touchdown, top-seeded McQuaid Jesuit took control of the game, scoring four times in its four first half possessions on the way to a 45-15 win over No. 2 UPrep (9-2). John Harding paced the Black Knights’ offense, rushing the ball 35 times for 206 yards and four scores.
After Tayvion Byrd and Tyrell Simmons connected on a 36-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0 UPrep, the McQuaid offense responded using an 11-play drive that was all running plays that got capped off with a 4-yard touchdown run by Harding. After McQuaid used a 42-yard field goal from Dominic Sansone before the first quarter ended to make it 10-7, the defense got a redzone turnover as Brenton Palodino picked off Byrd on fourth down. Harding used a big run on the next play from scrimmage to move McQuaid back into UPrep territory and then capped the drive off with his second touchdown of the game, coming from three yards out to make it 17-7. Eoin Meyer found the endzone off a direct snap in a goal line situation right before the half ended to make it 24-7 McQuaid.
Harding added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, coming from 12 and 18 yards out to make it 38-7. Meyer accounted for another touchdown just before the third quarter ended to make it 45-7. Meyer finished with 13 carries for 68 yards. McQuaid only threw one pass over the course of the entire game which fell incomplete.
The sectional title was the fifth straight for McQuaid.
Just as the fourth quarter began, UPrep’s Jahzir Vega found Simmons for his second touchdown of the game from 17-yards out, and Jayvon Johnson scored the two-point conversion on an end-around to make it 45-15. Tavion Byrd finished the game completing 7 of 19 passes for 109 yards. Tyrell Simmons had four catches for 66 yards. CJ Robinson Jr. got 13 carries and turned it into 78 yards.
McQuaid (11-0) advances to play defending state champion Bennett (VI) in the Far West Regional. McQuaid has fallen to Bennett in the previous two Far West Regionals.