No. 11 St. Paul's solves stingy Spalding, 35-21 Stewart's 4 TDs pave way vs. team that allowed only 18 points in last 3 games

October 24, 1998|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In its last three Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association wins, Archbishop Spalding allowed a total of 18 points.

Within the first nine minutes of yesterday's league contest at No. 11-ranked St. Paul's, the hosts had 21 points against the Cavaliers enroute to 28-point explosion and a 35-21 triumph.

The Crusaders scored on their first four possessions in building a 28-14 halftime margin. But not until Donnell Stewart's 2-yard score with 1: 05 remaining in the game could the Crusaders breathe easy.

The win put St. Paul's (7-1, 4-1) back in contention for the league title with Spalding and McDonogh with two games left. Spalding (5-3, 4-1) plays at first-place and undefeated McDonogh next week.

After giving up 235 yards in the first half, Spalding held down St. Paul's in the second, closing to 28-21 with 5: 06 remaining on a 4-yard touchdown run by Sam Creveling.

The Cavaliers attempted an onside kick, which St. Paul's covered in Spalding territory at the 49. The Crusaders forced Spalding into an offside penalty on fourth-and-one from the 8. Two plays later, Stewart scored his fourth touchdown of the game.

Stewart, a 5-foot-7, 160-pound junior, rushed for 141 yards. He had first-half scoring runs of 1, 16 and 57 yards. The Crusaders gained 73 yards in the second half.

The Cavaliers (305 total yards) took their opening possession of the second half down to St. Paul's 18, but a sack by Crusaders linebacker Kris Kogelschatz stalled the drive.

"They did a nice job of coming back," said St. Paul's coach Brian Abbott, whose team had 308 total yards. "They have a potent offense, and their defense got some stops on us. In some short yardage situations, we didn't execute as well as we should have."

The Crusaders had no problems breaking long plays in the first half. They needed only four plays for their first score as Stewart slipped out of a tackle and dashed 16 yards for the touchdown with 8: 12 left in the first.

The home crowd didn't get much time to savor the touchdown as Darren Johnson burst 65 yards up the middle on a counter play on the Cavaliers' next play from scrimmage. Johnson finished with 126 yards.

Outside of Johnson, Spalding struggled offensively but assembled an eight-play, 95-yard drive. Johnson fumbled at the 10, but Gerald Jones picked up the ball around the 3 and went in, making it 28-14.

"If we played that first half with any kind of confidence, I think it would've been a completely different game," said Spalding coach John Moscato. "I have no idea what happened in the first half. I can't play for them; we just came out flat."

Pub Date: 10/24/98

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