Rockland Will Face Cardinal Spellman in 1st Round of Football Playoffs
Cameron Stuart, Veritas Sports Editor
It’s one of the best match-ups on the slate for the opening round of the playoffs. Rockland will face-off against Cardinal Spellman on Friday, October 31st at 7 PM at Rockland’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Rockland comes in to the playoffs following a 32-8 Homecoming victory over the Carver Crusaders. While the Catholic Conference is competitive, the South Shore League Large School Division may be the most competitive league in all of Division 5. With Rockland the #3 seed in the South with a 5-2 record, the only two teams seeded higher are East Bridgewater (1) and Abington (2), both of whom play in the same division as the Bulldogs.
The Cardinal Spellman Cardinals stand at 3-3 going into the playoffs, including a 2-2 record in the tough Catholic Conference. Three years removed from their most recent Super Bowl appearance, long-time head coach Ron St. George leads his Cardinals to the postseason for the fifth consecutive year.
Senior Matt Anastasi has rushed for over 3,000 yards in his illustrious career in the old-school style of St. George. Even with proven game manager Mike Reale at quarterback, Spellman wears down opponents with a heavy ground game led by Anastasi and paved by star linemen John Edward Sagun and James Belton.
The ground game will be the biggest factor in Spellman’s game. Anastasi has been compared to the likes of East Bridgewater’s Jared Vargas and Abington’s Shawn Donovan, both of whom had multi-TD games against the Bulldogs.
The winner of this game will go on to play the winner of the Abington/Dover Sherborn game next weekend.