HAMMONTON – C.J. LaFragola of the St. Joseph High School football team rushed Atlantic City quarterback Jamir Prevard in the third quarter Saturday afternoon.

LaFragola fell to the grass. But another St. Joe defender deflected Prevard’s pass. The ball landed in LaFragola’s hands as he sat on the turf for an interception.

That’s the kind of day it was for the Wildcats fullback and linebacker.

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LaFragola rushed for 211 yards, scored four touchdowns and intercepted two passes as St. Joe beat Atlantic City 41-8 in a Cape-Atlantic League American Conference game. The Wildcats (5-1) are No. 4 in The Press Elite 11.

Fans filled the home bleachers at St. Joe on a sunny to watch the Wildcats play a young Atlantic City team that is searching for a signature win.

St. Joe scored on its first play from scrimmage. A’Laam Horne ran 67 yards down the home sideline to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead just 10 seconds into the game.

But Atlantic City (3-3) didn’t fade after that initial score.

The Vikings drove to the St. Joe 5-yard line late in the first quarter. A touchdown could have tied the game, but LaFragola spotted an Atlantic City wide receiver coming across the middle.

He stepped in front of the pass for an interception at the goal line. LaFragola had fumbled on the St. Joe possession before the Atlantic City drive.

St. Joe wore down the Vikings and took control in the third quarter.

LaFragola broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and then 65 yards for a touchdown to give St. Joe a 21-0 lead with 8:31 left in the third quarter.

LaFragola’s second interception came on Atlantic City’s next possession. Five plays later, St. Joe took a 28-0 lead when quarterback Salaam Horne threw a 15-yard screen pass to LaFragola for another touchdown.

LaFragola and the rest of the St. Joe running backs ran behind a dominant offensive line. One of the lines biggest problems was running down field after big St. Joe gains. The Wildcats broke five runs of more than 40 yards.

With the win, St. Joe enhances its reputation as one of South Jersey’s top teams.

Meanwhile, despite the defeat Atlantic City remains in contention for a South Jersey Group V playoff spot.


I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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