4th straight title on line for St. Paul's

October 29, 1992|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Last weekend, St. Paul's football coach Mitch Tullai notched his 200th career victory.

Tomorrow, his Crusaders will continue on the road toward another milestone -- Tullai's fourth straight Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference title.

But to do that, the 15th-ranked Crusaders (7-0, 5-0) will have to get past Severn (8-0, 5-0), which shared the 1990 title with the Crusaders and St. Mary's and shared the 1991 title with the Crusaders.

What makes this game perhaps more interesting than those of the past is the level of play attained by St. Paul's and Severn this season.

St. Paul's, which got its fifth shutout, 45-0, over Southwestern last week, was a 14-0 winner against a St. Mary's squad that beat Calvert Hall of the A Conference. And Severn beat Southern of Anne Arundel County, which later defeated 11th-ranked, two-time Class 1A state champion Wilde Lake.

"When St. Mary's beat Calvert Hall, it was like a shot in the arm for the whole conference," said Tullai, 64, whose 40-year record stands at 200-124. "But playing across the A Conference's nine- or 10-game schedule might take its toll on a small school like ours."

Severn coach Jim Doyle said: "I always thought that the top teams in the C Conference could play in the B Conference. But the C Conference has a reputation of being a weaker conference, and that's a tough reputation to shake."

Severn earned a 2-0 forfeit over Douglass last weekend after crushing Curley, 54-0. Tullai says the layoff could be a factor this week.

"We had an open date before playing St. Mary's, and it worked out to our benefit," said Tullai. "But it was also our last opportunity to scout Severn."

Doyle is well aware that St. Paul's has outscored its opponents 240-14, operating out of the power-I and multiple-set offenses.

St. Paul's quarterback Chas Offutt has passed for 382 yards and eight touchdowns, and senior back Ben Strutt is a triple threat as a punt returner and receiver.

Strutt has 986 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns.

But the Admirals' pro-set offense, navigated by senior quarterback Brad Fowler, is also high-powered.

Jamand "Jake" Mack missed last year's game and most of the season with a knee injury, but this year he has 1,041 yards on 114 carries for 13 touchdowns, seventh among the area's rushers.

"He's a super ballplayer, and I think he could play with any team and in any league in the area," said Tullai. "Mack is one of the area's best runners and Fowler's one of the area's best quarterbacks."

Fowler has completed 34 of 52 passes for 668 yards and eight touchdowns. However, in last year's 13-7 victory, the Crusaders' second straight over the Admirals, Fowler was intercepted four times.

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