J. Carroll sends Spalding to 2nd straight loss, 27-20

Three-way tie created in MIAA C Conference

Football

High Schools

October 19, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

With the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference title race wide-open thanks to Boys' Latin's victory over previously unbeaten Pallotti on Friday, the John Carroll football team knew the importance of its game against Archbishop Spalding yesterday.

"We looked at it like it was a championship game," said Patriots coach Sean Ireton. "We knew we had to win because we all want to sit at the head of the table at the end of the year."

There is still plenty of work to be done en route to a title, but the Patriots took a step in the right direction with a 27-20 victory over the Cavaliers at Gerry Gray Memorial Field in Bel Air.

With the victory, John Carroll improved to 5-2 overall, 3-1 in the league, and is tied for first place in the C Conference with Boys' Latin and Pallotti.

After the best start in program history, the Cavaliers (5-2, 1-2) have lost two straight.

"This was huge because it assures us of a chance to make a championship run," said Patriots tailback Dane Frank, who rushed 22 times for 114 yards.

Behind an offensive line of Patrick McGrath, Matt Murphy, Greg Boyle, John Kearby and Anthony Tapp that dominated late in the game, Frank scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the 4-yard game-winner with 2:01 to play.

John Carroll safety Charles Sargent intercepted a Mike Laidley pass with less than a minute left, preserving the victory.

"They were running that play all game long and I saw it coming," said Sargent, who also blocked a Cavaliers extra-point attempt in the second quarter to keep the score tied at 13.

Things got rolling early for the Patriots, who took a 6-0 lead 1:21 in when quarterback Kyle Devine (8-for-16 for 166 yards) hit Casey O'Brien in stride for a 70-yard touchdown pass.

Devine connected for his second touchdown, finding Patrick Casey for an 18-yard score and a 13-7 lead at 9:17 of the second quarter.

However, with Mike Rutland (108 yards on 25 carries) chewing up yardage on the ground, the Cavaliers tied the game at 13 as a Laidley pass to Ryan Douglas covered 17 yards.

It was 20-13 Spalding early in the third when Steve Rutland, Mike's twin brother, rushed in from 4 yards out for his second touchdown of the game.

After John Carroll tied it at the 9:22 mark with Frank diving in from 3 yards out, the Patriots needed only six plays - all runs - and 2:15 to cover 75 yards and score the winning touchdown on Frank's run.

"I was pleased with the first three quarters," said Cavaliers coach Mike Whittles. "On the last drive, they were making some blocks and we were missing some tackles."

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