Weishaar and Jones shine in BL’s 24-14 win over St. Paul’s

by Gary Adornato

Seniors Colby Weishaar (left) and Josh Jones combined for 284 yards rushing and three touchdowns in Boys’ Latin’s 24-14 win over St. Paul’s.

Bright sunshine bathed St. Paul’s Martin Tullai Field for the start of 66th annual battle for the Alumni Cup between the Boys’ Latin and St. Paul’s, Friday afternoon in Brooklandville.

As the late afternoon shadows began to set, however, only the visiting Lakers continued to bask in the glow as they downed their arch-rivals, 24-14, in this MIAA B Conference season finale.

Boys’ Latin’s Josh Jones rushed for 185 yards and pair of second half touchdowns to help the Lakers pull away from St. Paul’s and prevail, 24-14, and senior teammate Colby Weishaar added 99 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

Leading 10-7 at the half, BL (4-4 overall, 4-4 MIAA B) pushed its lead to 10 early in the third quarter as they needed just three second half snaps, all runs by Jones, to go 80-yards for a score. After opening the drive with an 8-yard run, Jones rumbled down to the St. Paul’s 37 with a 35-yard burst. A false start pushed the Lakers back five yards, but Jones responded with a 42-yard touchdown run, with 10:20 remaining in the third.

Later in the third quarter, St. Paul’s (2-7 overall, 2-6 MIAA B) responded with the second touchdown connection of the day between quarterback Scott Smith and wideout Kylen Austin, on a 34-yard pass play, pulling the Crusaders back within three at 17-14.

After an exchange of punts, Boys’ Latin regained possession at its own 20 with 9:35 to play and turned the contest over to Weishaar. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior, taking snaps out of a wildcat formation carried the ball on 10 consecutive plays, gaining 65 yards and churning precious time off the clock. After Weishaar advanced the ball to the St. Paul’s 15, Jones took the final two carries and scored on a 10-yard run to push the Lakers’ lead to 24-14 with 3:35 to play.

The BL defense then finished the job, stopping the Crusaders final drive in four plays with senior Mason Isaac capping his high school football career with a fourth down sack of Smith. Two kneel downs later and the Lakers had the Alumni Trophy for the first time in three years.

“It was a great game,” said Boys’ Latin head coach Ritchie Schell, who won for the 11th time against St. Paul’s in 19 tries. “Colby Weishaar and Josh Jones, in the second half, really picked it up. In the first half, we had them, but had a couple of penalties on ourselves. We persevered, our defense played great and our O-Line played great. It was a good game plan and we executed it.”

Both Weishaar and Jones gave the credit to the offensive line for the success of the ground game.

“In the beginning of the week we were preaching that we had to pound it down their throat,” said Weishaar. “The O-line just has to get a move on the linebackers. We were preaching it and I have to give all of the credit to the O-line. They played outstanding today.”

“The O-line was just blocking and we were doing what we had to do and got it done,” added Jones.

St. Paul’s still has a considerable lead in the series – 42-23-1 – but the Lakers have now won 11-of-19 in the career of head coach Ritchie Schell.

The Lakers began their first drive deep in St. Paul’s territory, at the 23, thanks to a short punt, off a bad snap in the end zone. BL moved to the six, but had a 6-yard touchdown run by senior Colby Weishaar negated by holding call. Eventually the Lakers netted for a 35-yard field goal by AJ Hernandez to take a 3-0 lead with 5:42 to play in the opening quarter.

After punting on its next possession, St. Paul’s got a spark from its defense in the form of an interception by senior Peter Sheehan at the Boys’ Latin 38. Initially the Crusaders were backwards, but junior quarterback Scott Smith connected for a first down with junior Kylen Austin for a 13-yard reception and, on the very next play, he found Austin again, for a 37-yard touchdown pass and St. Paul’s took the lead, 7-3, with less than a minute to play in the opening quarter.

Early in the second quarter Weishaar had a second touchdown called back by holding, this time on a 33-yard screen pass. However, after a blocked punt by the Lakers Justin Waters, Weishaar capped an eight-play, 38-yard drive, with a a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Lakers back in front, 10-7, with 1:11 remaining in the half.

Despite the loss, St. Paul’s still has a commanding 42-23-1 all-time lead in the rivalry, which St. Paul’s coach Scott Ripley’s calls the best in Baltimore.

“It’s a unique rival game,” said Ripley. “I’ve coached in the Gilman-McDonogh game. I’ve coached in the Turkey Bowl. I’ve coached in this one and I coached in the Cardinal Gibbons-Mount St. Joe rivalry. This is by far the best rivalry in the state of Maryland. Both teams care about each other. It’s clean football and both teams can win at any time when we play.”

With no post-season to look forward to this year, Schell underscored just how important this win was to his team.

“I’ll be honest with you, it’s our championship game. Our seniors played their butts off and its a great way to go out.”

Weishaar, one of those seniors, underscored his coach’s thoughts.

“It means everything,” he said. “I remember we lost to them the last two years and I just wanted revenge on them. It’s such an emotional game, being the last one ever, and it was a great win. It was awesome.”

BL 3 7 7 7 — 24
SP 7 0 7 0 — 14

BL – AJ Hernandez 35 FG
SP – Kylen Austin 37 pass from Scott Smith (Damian Ramos kick)

BL – Colby Weishaar 3 run (Hernandez kick)

BL – Josh Jones 42 run (Hernandez kick)
SP – Austin 34 pass from Smith (Ramos kick)

BL – Jones 5 run (Hernandez kick)