No. 11 St. Mary's survives battle of offenses, 39-30

September 24, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

His senior tailback ran for 193 yards and four touchdowns. His senior quarterback threw for 236 yards and two scores.

And at times, St. Mary's coach Brad Best wondered if that would be enough.

In a game where the big play became commonplace, No. 11 St. Mary's out-gunned No. 14 Severn, 39-30, last night at Anne Arundel Community College.

Jason Lilly scored the Saints' first four touchdowns, on runs of 9, 4, 3 and 19 yards, but he nearly was pushed to the background by Severn freshman Dennard Melton.

Alternating at quarterback with junior Willis Wu, Melton ran for two touchdowns, picked up one when he recovered a blocked punt by Brad Graw in the end zone, and returned a kickoff 87 yards for a score.

Then, there were the 121 yards gained by Severn senior John Vereen. And the five receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown by St. Mary's senior Ryan Beard. And the 62-yard touchdown catch by senior Mike Pagliaro, who also broke up a two-point conversion pass that would have tied the game, 30-30, early in the fourth quarter.

Everyone, it seemed, had a moment to shine, including St. Mary's senior Peter Grimm, who recovered two fumbles and made three conversion kicks.

But no one had a bigger night than St. Mary's quarterback Brad Davis, who took advantage of great pass protection to burn the Admirals secondary.

"We knew they were going to start keying on Jason," said Best, "and Brad Davis was a 1,000-yard passer last year. I don't think they were expecting us to pass a whole lot."

No wonder Severn's defense was preoccupied with Lilly. He has rushed for 552 yards in three games, all victories.

Last night, he did most of his damage inside. "We were running a lot of plays up the middle. And a lot of them were meant to be outside, and the hole would be up the middle," he said.

Severn (2-1) led once, 24-20, on Melton's 8-yard option run with 1:24 left in the third quarter. But a good kickoff return by Rashi Reed and ensuing personal foul on Severn put the ball on the Admirals' 43, and two plays later, St. Mary's was back in front for good, 26-24.

Davis completed a 24-yard pass to junior Matt Murphy, and Lilly started up the middle and broke to the right en route to his 19-yard score.

Lilly's first touchdown came 1:49 into the game, after Wu fumbled on the opening play and Grimm recovered at the Admirals' 23. The ensuing four-play drive included a 15-yard completion from Davis to Beard.

Lilly's second touchdown put the Saints' ahead, 14-6, with 6:29 remaining before halftime. Beard caught a 29-yard pass down the right sideline, and Lilly gained 28 yards on three carries.

Melton scored his second touchdown on a 17-yard keeper with 4:35 left in the half to make it 14-12, but St. Mary's went 72 yards in nine plays -- all involving Lilly -- to lead, 20-12 at halftime.

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