Return tickets Loyola for victory Score with :52 left defeats Mt. St. Joe

September 26, 1993|By Marc Bouchard | Marc Bouchard,Contributing Writer

Loyola junior tailback Reggie Boyce says he and the Dons aren't worried when they trail late in a game.

He showed why with a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown with 52 seconds left that gave No. 14 Loyola an 18-13 win over host Mount St. Joseph yesterday in a Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong A Conference game.

"We know if we keep it close, we'll always be in it," said Boyce, who finished with 42 yards rushing on eight carries. "We don't get worried or anything like that."

Boyce's coach, Joe Brune, agreed.

"When you've got some explosive players, you always have a chance," said Brune, whose Dons improved to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the MSA. "We feel we're always in it till it's over."

The Dons struck first with a run-dominated drive in the first

quarter. After Mount St. Joseph (0-4, 0-1) was stopped on downs on the opening series of the game,

Loyola put together a 10-play scoring drive that was capped by senior fullback Brian Oates' 3-yard touchdown run. Kevin Kaiser's extra-point attempt went wide left and Loyola led 6-0 with 5:55 left in the first quarter.

The Gaels answered with an 11-play drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by senior Julius Weems. Pat O'Donnell's point-after kick gave Mount St. Joseph a 7-6 lead with 52 seconds left in the first quarter.

Senior Eddie Pailen carried the ball six times for 30 yards on the drive. He finished the game with 86 yards on 22 carries.

On the ensuing series, the Dons put together a 15-play possession that lasted 7:18 and moved the ball to the Gaels' 11-yard line.

But three penalties forced Loyola to punt and the teams went into halftime with the Gaels up, 7-6.

Early in the second half, Weems (eight carries, 95 yards) provided the biggest play of the game for the Gaels when he took a sweep 55 yards for a touchdown 3:20 into the third quarter.

Loyola blocked the extra-point attempt, but the Gaels had a 13-6 lead.

Loyola opened the fourth quarter with a five-play scoring drive that brought the Dons to within 13-12. Junior tailback Scott Brown (11 carries, 68 yards) capped the drive on a 1-yard run by with 9:15 left.

The key play on the drive was a 20-yard pass from junior quarterback Brian Nicholas, who had replaced senior Keith Euker in the second quarter, to Kaiser on a third-and-six play that gave the Dons a first down on Mount St. Joseph's 1-yard line.

Loyola chose to go for a two-point conversion, but Nicholas' pass sailed through the hands of junior Damien Austin, and the Gaels remained on top.

When Mount St. Joseph was forced to punt after three plays on the ensuing series, Boyce almost gave the Dons the lead with a 32-yard return to the Gaels' 8-yard line.

Three straight handoffs to Oates (nine carries, 34 yards) brought the ball to Mount St. Joseph's goal line, but the Gaels' defense stopped Nicholas on a quarterback sneak on fourth down.

The Dons would have gotten the ball back four plays later, but a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave Mount St. Joseph a first down on its own 21 with 3:07 left.

The Gaels got one more first down and ran the clock down to 52 seconds.

That's when Boyce stepped up.

"These kids work so hard, but we're always just a play away," said Mount St. Joseph coach Tim Perry. "But I can't be any more proud of them than I am now."

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