Fourth quarter safety gives the Vikings their first win over the Eagles in four years

High school football returned to McCurdy Field in Frederick, Friday night, as St. John’s Catholic Prep and Annapolis Area Christian met, as part of the MIAA’s 2020 open-season format.

Usually playing for supremacy in the MIAA C Conference, the Vikings (1-1) and Eagles were just excited to be playing at all. In the end, SJCP celebrated a 22-21 victory, their first over AACS in four seasons, with the winning points coming on a fourth quarter safety by St. John’s defensive back Luke Hegerty.

Trailing by a point, SJCP was stopped at the AACS two, on downs, as they attempted a go-ahead touchdown drive. The Vikings defense, however, responded with Hegerty’s heroic play, as he shot a gap and a tackled Eagles’ running back Mike Zahire in the end zone.

St. John’s built a 14-0 first half lead as quarterback Michael Glover tossed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Grayson DiPietro and later rushed for a 6-yard touchdown. AACS, however, responded late in the second quarter when quarterback Aaron Rhodes connected with brother Corey Rhodes for an 18-yard TD toss, to pull the Eagles within 14-7 at the half.

Rhodes threw for two more scores in the third quarter, both 20-yarders, to account for the Eagles 21 points. In between those TD’s, SJCP’s Matt Hardin added a 14-yard rushing touchdown, to make the score 21-20 after three quarters of play.

The game was Annapolis Area Christian’s opener and it was a big bounce back for St. John’s, which lost its season opener last Friday to St. Michael the Archangel (VA), 48-6.