High School: Brockton, St. John’s (S) duke it out in scrimmage

BROCKTON — It would not be a high school football season in Massachusetts without the annual scrimmage between Brockton and St. John’s of Shrewsbury.

We were told that this was the 39th annual between the two programs, going back to when Tony Wood was at St. John’s and the late Armond Colombo was leading Brockton.

Now, Armond’s son, Peter, is in his last year coaching the Boxers, and John Andreoli coaches St. John’s.

On Saturday at Brockton’s Marciano Stadium, Brockton and St. John’s locked horns again, and it was a nice day for both teams. While the varsity teams were competing, St. John’s scored two touchdowns to Brockton’s one. But there is plenty of potential for both squads.

Here is what we saw:

— St. John’s moved the ball well, but it was a bit of a different look for the Pioneers. They were under center for most of the afternoon, after being a pure spread team for as far back as the last dozen years or so.

“It’s been good for us. Ryan (Miller) is a great under-center quarterback,” Andreoli said. “He’s a pocket passer. He runs the ball very well when he’s under center. I think it has just kind of evolved. When you play in the Catholic Conference, we’ve got to keep the defense off the field. By having a power running game and mixing in the elements of the spread, I think it’s a really nice balance that’s going to help us. Control the clock, and move the ball, and be able to be a little bit unpredictable.”

The running game was effective, as Garrett Raneri ran for one score out of short yardage, and Logan Mercer added a 55-yard touchdown run on the last varsity possession.

The Pioneers have some good receivers, too. One who stood out on the first drive was junior Antonio Wiafe, who caught a couple Miller passes.

Miller is technically a three-year starter if you include the Fall II season. He is a mobile signal-caller who is accurate with his passes.

— Brockton scored on one possession and moved the ball well on its others. Senior quarterback Joey Cappiello distributed the ball well to his plethora of speedy options at receiver and running back.

The big play came when Cappiello threw to Kole Osinubi in the right flat, and the senior wide receiver made a few players miss, cut across the field, then raced 46 yards for the touchdown. It was an extremely athletic play by Osinubi, and the type this offense can have consistently.

Along with receivers like Osinubi, Cam Monteiro, Christensen Paul, Michael Victor, and Matt Turco, and running backs Mauricio Powell and Kensley Rock, there is no one player defenses can key on without opening up space for someone else.

That’s just how Colombo wants it.

“You see Cam, and you’ve got the Turco kid,” Colombo said. “We didn’t even feature the tight end today. (Donovan Munroe)’s going to be another factor. I like the package that (offensive coordinator) Chris (Brennan) has developed over the last three years. And Joey seems to be getting a handle and showing that he is not unathletic. I think the pieces are there. We just have to let the kids get better every day.”