Brandenburg TD lifts Spalding with :08 left

Archbishop Spalding 7 St. Mary's 6

October 28, 2006|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN REPORTER

It came down to a pass for victory for one of the area's most prolific rushing teams, and No. 5 Archbishop Spalding edged St. Mary's of Annapolis, 7-6, on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Moran to Mike Brandenburg with eight seconds remaining.

Moran lofted a jump ball to the left corner and Brandenburg went up and got it over a shorter safety to cap a 10-play, 56-yard drive in the final 1:36. Brandenburg had three receptions for 49 yards during the drive.

Nathan Myers kicked the game-winning extra point on a low line drive that just cleared the crossbar. The win kept the host team unbeaten at 9-0 in Severn last night. It also clinched a berth for the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference champions in the Nov. 10 final at Johns Hopkins.

The host Cavaliers came into the game averaging 342.5 yards rushing and 37.5 points, but were held to 217 rushing yards.

They were stalled by the Rhett DePol and Eddie Clay-led Saints defense in a driving rain that turned the field into a quagmire in the second half.

St. Mary's (6-3, 2-1) recovered a fumble at the Spalding 8-yard line in the first quarter and DePol went over from the 1. The Saints' try for a two-point conversion run failed, but it looked like the six points would stand up.

Moran said he and Brandenburg have been practicing the jump ball.

"The conditions were tough and I didn't think we would be able to throw the ball down the stretch, but we came through," Moran said. "We've been working on the jump ball every day for about 45 minutes for the last two weeks and it paid off tonight."

Only one regular-season game is left and even if the Cavs, 3-0 in the South Division, were upset by Pallotti (3-5), they would still be in the final by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker with St. Mary's.

A win over Pallotti and the Cavs become just the 13th team in Anne Arundel County history to go undefeated in regular season (9 or 10 games) and only the third private school team to do it, joining 1980 Severn (9-0) and 1978 St. Mary's (9-0-1).

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