Matthews, St. Paul's roll, 35-0

Senior excels at quarterback, receiver in blowout of Severn as Crusaders improve to 3-1


High Schools

September 24, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun reporter

Nathan Matthews is one of those special seniors that coaches love because he will do anything to help his team win.

Matthews, who veteran St. Paul's coach Dave Dolch calls "one of the area's premier receivers," showed that he can pitch it as well as catch it in the Crusaders' 35-0 rout of visiting Severn yesterday at Martin D. Tullai Field in Brooklandville.

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference cross-division contest left St. Paul's 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the North Division, while Severn fell to 0-2 in the South and 1-2 overall.

Matthews threw three touchdown passes, two to junior Chris Clements (five receptions, 202 yards) from 71 and 74 yards in the first half and a 21-yarder in the third quarter to Steve Bernstorf. Matthews also caught four passes for 39 yards from sophomore quarterback Brian Taffe.

Matthews is playing some quarterback, while Taffe has been coming along well in place of starter J.C. Unitas, a senior who was injured in preseason.

"I played some quarterback last year and they moved me back, and we've grinded out two straight wins," Matthews said.

Unitas is expected back in a couple of weeks. He is the first grandson of the late Colts great, Johnny Unitas.

"Nathan was also an All-Conference linebacker last year and is a great defensive player, too," said Dolch, whose Crusaders stopped a three-game losing streak to the Admirals.

"Today, he was outstanding on both sides of the ball. Nathan Matthews was definitely the player of the game on both sides of the ball and on special teams."

Matthews had one of his team's four sacks of Severn quarterback Brendan Lane. On special teams, Matthews downed two perfectly placed punts by Bernstorf on the Severn 6-yard line in the second quarter, which led to a rarity in football, back-to-back safeties for an 18-0 lead at the half.

"We have an outstanding kicking game, and it has been outstanding all year with Steve [Bernstorf] punting. David Corak is a great kicker," Dolch said.

Said Severn's first-year coach Tony Werner: "We're inexperienced and giving up too many big plays. We'll bounce back. We start our division play next week against Pallotti, and we still have a shot at winning our division and making the playoffs."

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