Boys' Latin clinches B Silver title

Lakers rout Pallotti, 35-0, win 1st crown in 25 years

Football

October 19, 2002|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The last time Boys' Latin won a football championship, Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the Colts were playing at Memorial Stadium. After a 25-year hiatus, the Lakers can call themselves champions again.

The No. 11 Lakers clinched the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference Silver Division title yesterday with a 35-0 victory over visiting Pallotti. Boys' Latin (6-0) completed a 4-0 mark in divisional play with its second consecutive shutout.

"Last year, we went into games thinking we need a break or two to win," said Lakers quarterback Patrick Mahoney. "There's a change in attitude and we're ready to go out and win."

One of 15 returning starters, Mahoney, a 6-foot-6 senior, threw two touchdown passes. Senior Logan Burke contributed 134 rushing yards and two scoring runs as the Lakers scored on five of their first six possessions against Pallotti (4-3, 1-1).

Boys' Latin has surpassed its 4-6 mark under second-year coach Ritchie Schell. After a combined 2-18 record in 1999 and 2000, Schell expected the Lakers to be a contender in the MIAA B Silver after a 3-1 league record last year.

"Last year, it was mental games," said Schell, who credited assistant coaches Gordie Bengel, John Davis, Jim Sandusky, Damon Yaffee, Donte Richardson, Johno Marinacci and Nick Smeresky. "We were in every game and played hard."

Schell pointed to last year's victory over then-unbeaten Curley that started to turn the Lakers' fortunes around. Since starting 1-4 last season, Boys' Latin has won 10 of 12 games, including going 7-1 in MIAA B Silver competition.

The Lakers dominated from the opening kickoff, going 70 yards in six plays with Burke scoring on a 2-yard run. Burke and Jerome Featherstone combined to take Boys' Latin 83 yards in just four plays as Featherstone (61 yards rushing) went 42 yards down the right sideline for a 14-0 advantage with 8:47 remaining in the first half.

Mahoney (7-for-9, 133 yards) connected with junior Chris Read for a 41-yard score and lobbed a 9-yard pass to Evan Burns in the right corner, giving Boys' Latin a 28-0 halftime advantage. A blocked punt by sophomore Rocco Romero helped set up a 5-yard score by Burke with 9:27 left in the third period.

With seniors Paul Marchese, David O'Malley, Greg Baggan, Ryan Travers and junior Ridwan Tomhe up front, Boys' Latin picked up 209 of its 342 total yards on the ground. Marchese (6-2, 240) recorded two sacks, and Conor Larkin, Judson Arnold and Malcolm Khahil each intercepted a pass. The Lakers limited Pallotti to 124 yards.

"It was just a stellar performance," said Marchese, whose team gets its biggest test of the season at No. 3 Calvert Hall next weekend.

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