Iona Prep routs Fordham as playoff path opens

Iona Prep routs Fordham as playoff path opens

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Iona Prep routs Fordham as playoff path opens

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NEW ROCHELLE – Shortly after putting the finishing touches on another lopsided win over Fordham Prep, Iona Prep learned that a major impediment in its pursuit of a championship had been cleared.

The third-seeded Gaels shut out the rival Rams 41-0 to open the CHSFL AA playoffs Sunday behind four touchdown passes from Mike Apostolopoulos, including three to Ki’Shyne Shipmon. They will now host Xavier in the semifinals after the No. 7 seed upset favorite Christ the King, which was the only league opponent to beat Iona Prep during the regular season.

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“My first immediate thought was that now we’re playing a home game rather than going out to Queens to play a playoff game,” said Gaels coach Joe Spagnolo, whose team will play Xavier at 1 p.m. on Saturday. “But any time you play Xavier, it’s going to be an extremely physical game. They’re well-coached. They do a really good job.”

Iona Prep proved how dangerous it could be early and often against Fordham Prep. Apostolopoulos connected with Shipmon on a 25-yard score on the opening possession and Rodney Samson Jr. made it 13-0 just 3:11 into the game when he broke loose for a 51-yard touchdown.

“All week in practice we kept saying, they’re going to be hungry. They want revenge on 70-20,” said Shipmon, whose team beat Fordham Prep by that score on Oct. 15. “So we practiced hard and prepared for them the right way.”

Apostolopoulos connected with Shipmon seven times for 89 yards and finished 17 for 21 for 259 yards.

Player of the game: Ki’Shyne Shipmon, Iona Prep. Since he transferred from Yonkers Montessori this summer, the junior has thrived as a hybrid back for the Gaels. Shipmon has played on both sides of scrimmage and proven equally adept as a runner and receiver.

“He brings a lot of energy,” Apostolopoulos said. “And he can do everything.”

Stat line: Iona Prep (6-3) — The Gaels ran just 38 plays and compiled 436 yards. … Samson Jr. rushed eight times for 119 yards and two touchdowns and had one of the team’s four sacks. … Mike DeGasperis caught five passes for 95 yards and Johnryan Freeman caught two more, including a touchdown. He also had a sack. Fordham Prep (4-5) — Matthew Valecce went 10 for 16 for 91 yards.

Quotable:
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I think we won the line of scrimmage,” Spagnolo said. “Our O-line has been gelling really well. Our d-line has gotten better each week. We are pretty skilled on the perimeter so if we do well up front the rest usually works itself out.”

Twitter:  @lohudinsider

Iona Prep's Michael DeGasperis finds a path against Fordham Prep in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Iona Prep’s Michael DeGasperis finds a path against Fordham Prep in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Iona Prep head coach Joe Spagnolo during the quarterfinals game against Fordham Prep in the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Iona Prep head coach Joe Spagnolo during the quarterfinals game against Fordham Prep in the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Fordham Prep quarterback Matt Valecce in action against Iona Prep in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Fordham Prep quarterback Matt Valecce in action against Iona Prep in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Iona Prep's Ki'Shyne Shipmon finds a path against Fordham Prep to score a touchdown in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Iona Prep’s Ki’Shyne Shipmon finds a path against Fordham Prep to score a touchdown in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Iona Prep's Ki'Shyne Shipmon looks back after scoring a touchdown against Fordham Prep in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

Iona Prep’s Ki’Shyne Shipmon looks back after scoring a touchdown against Fordham Prep in the quarterfinals of the Catholic High School Football League Nov. 6, 2016 at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. Iona Prep won, 41-0.

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