In a driving rainstorm that contributed to seven turnovers, St. Paul's quarterback Chad Offutt found split end Brad Read a 58-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give the visiting Crusaders a 20-15 victory over Southwestern yesterday.
With St. Paul's trailing, 15-14, with 7:39 to play, Offutt found Read wide-open as the Sabers were beaten in their three-man-deep zone defense. Read outraced two defenders to the end zone for the winning score.
The Crusaders (5-1, 3-1) remain a game behind first-place Severn in the Maryland Scholastic Association's C Conference.
"We still have a chance to win this thing," said St. Paul's coach Mitch Tullai. "We have to take this thing one game at a time. We were lucky today despite all the turnovers."
In two weeks, the Crusaders will play Severn.
For Southwestern (3-2, 2-2), homecoming was spoiled, but the Sabers gained some respect from the rest of the league.
"The other coaches around the league keep telling me, 'You have a great team,' " said Sabers coach Fred Kais, whose team committed four turnovers. "These kids have gone through so much this season. We don't practice every day, and somehow every week we do it. But I have to give it to St. Paul's. They played an almost perfect football game today."
Southwestern had trouble stopping the option offense, particularly when halfback Ben Strutt was carrying the ball. Strutt carried 22 times for 198 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
"I like to carry the ball down the stretch, especially when our offensive line is pushing forward," said Strutt.