St. Mary’s routs No. 18 Severn, clinches rematch in MIAA B football final; Day and defense shines (VIDEO HERE!!)
St. Mary’s High football seniors knew a victory over rival St. Mary’s Saturday would be a great way to end its season. The Saints accomplish that goal with a 35-7 victory over the 18th-ranked Admirals, but the Annapolis school got a huge bonus.
The win advances St. Mary’s (6-4) to next weekend’s MIAA B Conference final against Severn at Archbishop Spalding’s Whittles Field. The Saints, Severn and Boys’ Latin each went 4-2 in league play, but St. Mary’s and the Admirals advance through the MIAA football second tiebreaker – results against other league teams in order of finish.
St. Mary’s and Severn each defeated 4th-place St. Paul’s School, which routed Boys’ Latin School Friday evening at Stevenson University. It’ll be the Saints’ first title game appearance since 2008.
St. Mary’s coach Jason Budroni wasn’t sure of his team’s playoff status after Saturday’s victory. He was happy for his seniors, who helped the Saints beat their Anne Arundel County rival for the 10th time in the last 11 decisions.
“There a lot of seniors on this team and they understand how hard it is to play here, St Mary’s coach Jason Budroni said. “Getting up early was huge for us and we were able to weather the storm later in the game.”
The Saints’ defense wreaked havoc, turning four Severn turnovers into 21 points. They held Admirals to less than 200 yards of offense and had eight tackles for losses.
St. Mary’s got off to a thrilling start as Dhane Blair fumbled the opening kickoff, but quickly recovered the ball. He eluded several Severn defenders down the right side for an 88-yard score. The Saints got another big play in the form of Ryan Poole’s 40-yard interception return, extending the lead to 14-0.
Four minutes later, Johnny Scaturro got his first interception of the day and returned the ball to Severn 34-yard line. In the second quarter, Thomas Kerner penetrated the Admiral offensive line to force and recover a fumble to give the Saints the ball at the Severn 35-yard line. Donald Day muscled his way into the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 halftime lead.
“Our defense has been playing well all season,” said Scaturro, “Every game we’re getting better and doing more things well. We’re coming together as a team and we have a lot of chemistry and I think that helps us out on the field.”
The Saints were more than content with Day, who rushed for 174 yards, to do most of the heavy lifting on offense. Day gobbled up 38 yards in a 67-yard drive as Marcus Marshall capped the series with a 2-yard run.
Severn showed some of life on offense in the fourth as Craig Stevens connected with Joel Mandish for a 5-yard touchdown pass play. Scaturro got his second pick of the day, and Temari Parker bullied his way into the end zone.
After an 8-0 start, Severn has dropped two straight.
“This was another wake-up call,” Severn coach Duane Tyler said. “They (St. Mary’s) brought it. They were clicking on all cylinders — offense, defense and special teams. Today was one of those days where we kept stalling and we couldn’t get out of our own way on offense.”
The Admirals will get a chance at redemption next weekend against St. Mary’s, which last won the B title in 2008 (defeated St. Paul’s). “I think all season we knew what we were capable of,” Scaturro said. “We know that we can do anything we put our minds to.”
St. Mary’s 35, No. 18 Severn School 7
St. Mary’s 14 7 7 7 – 35
Severn 0 0 0 7 – 7
St. Mary’s – Blair 88 kickoff return (Donohue kick)
St. Mary’s – Poole 40 interception return (Donohue kick)
St. Mary’s – Day 24 run (Donohue kick)
St. Mary’s – Marshall 8 run (Donohue kick)
Severn – Mandish 5 pass from Stevens (Gergar kick)
St. Mary’s – Parker 4 run (Donohue kick)