Boys’ Latin forces six turnover in 20-0 win over St. Mary’s; Lakers keep their MIAA B title hopes alive (VIDEO COMING SOON)

Senior Rashawn Evans (left) had two interceptions and sophomore Mason Isaac had a pick 6 as Boys’ Latin forced six turnovers in a 20-0 win over St. Mary’s.

by Gary Adornato

Sometimes your dreams come true even if you don’t realize it.

Boys’ Latin sophomore Mason Isaac had something most defensive tackles only dream of drop right into his midsection, Friday afternoon in the Lakers critical MIAA B Conference football showdown with visiting St. Mary’s. It took a couple of beats for Isaac to even recognize his good fortune, but once it dawned on him that he had actually intercepted a pass and the only thing between him and the end zone was open space, the young Laker rambled 52 yards for a score that iced his team’s 20-0 win over the Saints, keeping BL’s post-season hopes very much alive.

Under heavy pressure, St. Mary’s quarterback Kyle Hill rushed his effort to complete a screen pass and the ball hit Isaac right in the gut as he was approaching the quarterback.

“I was in the right place at the right time and when I had the ball, I was a little bit shocked,” said Isaac. “I didn’t know what to do at first. It took a little bit for it to click in my head, but when it clicked I just went.”

The pick six was one of four Boys’ Latin interceptions and six turnovers as the Laker defense turned in a dominating performance in blanking one of the hotter teams in the B Conference.

Senior Rashawn Evans had two of interceptions, both in the first half. The first setup a field goal attempt, on which the Lakers did not connect, but the second produced points as junior Sam Grace turned it into a 36-yard field goal and a 10-0 BL lead with 2:14 to play in the opening half. Grace, who also plays soccer in the fall, hit a 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, following an interception by junior Carlos Davis. In addition, the left-footed Grace helped the Lakers win the field position game by consistently pinning the Saints inside the 20 with his punts.

“We have special defensive coaches,” said Evans. ”They tell us to go hard every play, so we’ve got to go hard every play.”

Quarterback Brenden Crouse kept the Lakers’ offense on time with 83 yards rushing and 103 passing, with a TD pass.

St. Mary’s (5-4 overall, 3-2 MIAA B) churned out three first downs and drove the ball out to midfield in the game’s opening possession, but BL eventually forced a punt and handed the ball to its offense, led by senior quarterback Brenden Crouse, for the first time. Starting at their own 14, Crouse went 6-for-6 for 69 yards, including a 3-yard TD toss to junior Seth Nance, to give the Lakers the early 7-0 lead.

Crouse would go on to rush for 83 yards and pass for 103.

The explosive Donald Day, III led St. Mary’s with 135 yards rushing on 31 carries, but the senior did fumble three times in the contest, losing one. The Saints best scoring chance came in their final possession when backup quarterback Cam Tyson completed a 36-yard throw to Ryan Poole to give St. Mary’s a first down at the BL 12, but the Lakers were able to turn the ball over on downs before kneeling out the clock.

“They did a great job on us defensively,” said St. Mary’s coach Jason Budroni. “We’ve been running the ball and scoring. We’ve had no problem running the ball on anybody, but they did a good job today. We haven’t been shutout in a long, long time. Hats off to Boys’ Latin.

“At the end of the day, we had six turnovers and they had no turnovers. It’s not rocket science. You can’t beat a good team with six turnovers.”

Boys’ Latin coach Richie Schell agreed.

“The turnovers, we helped cause them, but that was a lucky break for us,” said Schell. “Our kids played really hard and I was really happy for them.”

Junior Sam Grace kicked a pair of field goals in the Lakers victory.

Although the game was critical for both teams, it was more important to Boys’ Latin (5-4, 4-1), as they would have been eliminated from post-season contention with a loss. With the win, however, the Lakers can reach the championship game with a win over arch-rival St. Paul’s, next Friday night at Stevenson University.

St. Mary’s, which came into the game in control of its own destiny, got a big boost Friday evening when previously unbeaten Severn was defeated, 37-31, by St. Vincent Pallotti. The Saints will face the Admirals (4-1 in the league) next Saturday and if they win, they will pull even with the Admirals and claim the tie-break. If Severn wins, its in and Boys’ Latin would also be in the final, regardless of what does against St. Paul’s.

Should St. Mary’s win and the Lakers fall to the Crusaders, that would create a three-way tie for first and the Lakers would be the odd team out, based on the tie-breakers. At that point, all three teams would be 1-1 in the head-to-head match-ups. Then the tie-break would move team-by-team down the standing and, since BL would have a loss to St. Paul’s, which lost to both Severn and St. Mary’s, the Lakers would be eliminated, while the Admirals and Saints would meet in the title game.

Even before these scenarios became clear, Schell already understood the importance of the St. Paul’s game.

“Our championship is always St. Paul’s,” said Schell. “We’ll be ready, but we’ve got to beat St. Paul’s. They are a good football team and they are well coached. They’ll be just as fired up as we are.”

SM 0 0 0 0 — 0
BL 7 3 3 7 — 20
BL – Seth Nance 3 pass from Beneden Krouse (Sam Grace kick)
BL – Grace 36 FG
BL – Grace 35 FG
BL – Mason Isaac 52 interception return (Grace kick)