Berry, unbeaten St. Martin’s roll past Riverdale
Junior running back Harlem Berry is rated by many as the top player at his position, if not the top player overall, in the country for the Class of 2025.
That was on full display again Friday night at Tony Porter Field in Metairie.
Berry accounted for seven touchdowns, including five rushing and two receiving as the St. Martin’s Episcopal Saints rolled over Riverdale 58-28. Berry accounted for 377 total yards.
As if that were not enough, Berry contributed on defense as well, forcing and recovering a fumble and which led to one of his scores on offense. Berry had five tackles.
Berry rushed 16 times for 221 yards and five scores and caught three passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Berry also threw a 50-yard pass completion.
The game was close into the third quarter at 37-28 when the Saints pulled away.
On the second play from scrimmage, Berry raced 50 yards for a touchdown to give St. Martin’s a 7-0 lead.
Lance Simmons hit Thomas Kaska on a 35-yard touchdown pass for Riverdale to tie the game 7-7.
Berry answered with a 35-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 and the Saints would not trail the rest of the way.
Saints quarterback Oliver played well on both sides of the ball, running the high-powered offense, which has now scored 153 points in three victories. Oliver was excellent on defense as well, forcing a fumble on a strip and racing 60 yards for a touchdown. The Saints forced four turnovers which proved fatal for the Rebels.
Speaking on The Three Tailgaters Show Saturday morning on NASH ICON 106.1 FM, St. Martin’s coach Kevin Dizer stated the obvious about the brilliance of Berry.
“It was a good win,” Dizer said. “Harlem does everything for us. He had an outstanding night offensively but the play he made defensively turned the game around for us. He just reached in and pulled the ball out. He actually scooped and scored but we had a block in the back so he just scored on the next play offensively.”
Dizer is already thinking of life without Berry.
“I realize this is the only guy like this I may ever get to coach,” Dizer said. “I am so grateful. I just have to remind myself that Harlem will be gone in two years. Our staff is doing a good job. We play a lot of guys both ways and have a lot of young guys. Harlem is a leader.”
The Saints are not a one-man team.
“We pick our spots with Oliver playing defense,” Dizer said. “He is a leader and a captain. Dominic Hogan and Manny Bejaron have been good up front for us. Cooper Helmke has been a good kicker for us and lines up at receiver for us as well.”
A semifinal team for the first-time last season, St. Martin’s (3-0) will play Abramson next Thursday night while Riverdale (1-2) will also return to action Thursday night against Douglass.
“We truly are focused on taking this one game at a time,” Dizer said. “Our kids understand the mission.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…