St. Francis Prep RBs growing up fast

For the first time in 54 seasons last fall, St. Francis Prep’s Vincent O’Connor went with two sophomores - Tristan Akong and Robert Dougherty - in his backfield.
They were the best athletes, so the legendary coach had no choice but to go with inexperience. The two did well, considering they were starting at such a young age.
Now, a year older, they are blossoming.
Thanks to the two, St. Francis Prep improved to 3-0 Saturday night, pounding Cardinal Spellman 31-8.
Akong scored the winning touchdown in the Terriers’ previous win over Holy Cross, and he was again clutch in the red zone, rushing for 78 yards on just nine carries and finding pay dirt twice. Dougherty added a 63-yard punt return for a score, and another youngster, junior defensive back Brian Stackpole, returned an interception 64 yards for a touchdown.
“They read the plays better, they see the holes better, and they’ll make a cut better,” O’Connor said of Akong and Dougherty. “That experience seems to be paying off so far. They are a little bit more poised and they understand what’s happened on the field.”
“They have a little different style of running,” the coach added, “but both consistently do well.”
Senior George Kikel led the defense with 12 tackles, a blocked punt and blocked field goal, and Chris O’Connor added five tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.

- Zachary Braziller

More from Around New York