For the second time in three weeks, Boys' Latin kept the opposition from scoring.
And more than ever, Lakers' coach Ritchie Schell needed the defense to shine with the offense sputtering against Pallotti Friday night at Fairland Regional Park in Laurel.
A safety late in the first quarter accounted for the only points in a 2-0 victory for Boys' Latin.
The defense of Boys' Latin (3-1) made the lead standup the rest of the way in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference opener for both schools.
Junior safety Patrick McManus picked off two passes for the winners and the Lakers recorded three sacks as Jamal Perkins and Steven Black each had one.
"We have a very good defense," Schell said. "But we can't make the mistakes we made today and expect to be in the championship game or even make the playoffs."
The biggest play of the game was a Pallotti miscue.
With 3:40 remaining in the first quarter, there was a bad exchange between quarterback Bree Hart and running back Julian Mealy on 1st-and-10 from the 4-yard line.
Mealy ended up falling on the ball in the end zone and a couple of Laker defenders fell on him for the safety.
Boys' Latin had a chance to add to its lead soon after the safety.
The Lakers had a 2-and-7 from the 2, but quarterback Frederick Bopst threw an interception on the last play of the first quarter.
The Panthers (2-2) had their problems, too.
The committed nine penalties for 95 yards, which included five for personal fouls.
"That's one of the things we are trying to change," Pallotti coach Rick Peacock said. "We haven't had a history of success. Sometimes, when you are not used to being successful, you don't know how to do it. I keep telling the kids, 'Character gets you to the top and class keeps you there. We are a work on progress."
Note: Boys' Latin starting senior running back Alex Schultz left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. Schell said he expects Schultz to be out for a couple of weeks. Senior Chris Rubino got the bulk of the carries and finished with 61 yards on 15 attempts.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun