Cadets hold the line, defeat Crusaders 43-8

Lars Pedersen scored four touchdowns and the St. Joseph High defense played a stellar four quarters of football when coach Joe Della Vecchia’s Cadets defeated Trinity Catholic from Stamford, 43-8 at the Dalling Sports Complex on Saturday.

St. Joseph moved to 6-1 with the FCIAC win, while Trinity Catholic falls to 4-3.

Pedersen caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Cory Babineau and Marc Mrozek added the first of his six conversion kicks to polish off St. Joseph’s first possession.

Pedersen, who took turns taking center snaps with Babineau, ran 50 yards for a score on a quarterback read play to up the lead to 13-0 with 3:59 left in the opening period.

Trinity Catholic completed an 80-yard drive that carried into the second quarter, when Anthony Lombardi scrambled into the end zone from 17 yards out. Tom Castigan caught the two-point conversion pass to bring the score to 13-8 with 11:19 remaining in the first half.

That would be the only time the Crusaders would find paydirt, as Buddy Wade had three quarterback sacks, Jones three tackles for losses, and Cameron Ryan and Jake Smith had double figures in tackles.

Mufasha Abdul Basir had a 48-yard run to bring the ball to midfield. Four plays later Babineau showed patience as he surveyed the field before throwing a 25-yard touchdown strike to Pedersen with 47.4 seconds left in the half.

Mrozek blocked a punt, and the ball rolled out of the end zone on Trinity Catholic’s first series of the third quarter for a two-point safety.

Pedersen returned the free kick 25 yards to the Crusaders’ 36-yard line.

Abdu Basir and Pedersen had the carries around a key third-down reception by Seamus Keating, before Pedersen scored on a 2-yard run. Mrozek’s PAT gave St. Joseph a 29-8 lead, which they carried into the final period.

Abdul Basir broke off a 31-yard touchdown run with 10:40 to play and added a 5-yard tally with 6:24 remaining.