In most years, a victory over Severn would be a good way to wrap up the season and retain bragging rights until the following season.
On Saturday, though, the St. Mary’s football team had something else on its mind.
By virtue of its 35-7 victory over Severn, St. Mary’s joined the Admirals and Boys’ Latin in a three-way tie atop the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference standings. According to the league’s tiebreaker procedure, since the three teams all went 1-1 head to head, the next way to break the tie is results against the fourth-place team in the standings. Heading into play Saturday, St. Paul’s was 3-3 in the conference and John Carroll was 2-3 prior to playing Archbishop Curley. All three teams at the top defeated John Carroll, while Boys’ Latin was the only of the three to fall to St. Paul’s.
According to that scenario, Saturday’s B Conference championship game will be a rematch between St. Mary’s and Severn.
“Somebody will tell me if we’re playing, and if we are we’ll go from there,” said St. Mary’s coach Jason Budroni, immediately following the game and before an official notification of who plays on Saturday.
St. Mary’s (6-4) took control right from the start and had a 14-0 lead five minutes into the game, despite the fact its offense had run only four plays.
Dhane Blair returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a score, then after the teams traded punts, Ryan Poole returned an interception 40 yards to put the Saints up by two touchdowns.
“I’ll take 14 points. That was a plus,” Budroni said. “That really helped us weather the storm because we had some penalties. We were up, so the penalties didn’t really kills us.”
The Saints dominated the rest of the half and forced a pair of punts, watched the Admirals turn it over on downs and forced two more turnovers. Johnny Scaturro picked off a pass and Thomas Kerner recovered a fumble for the Saints, who went into halftime with a 21-0 lead following a 24-yard touchdown run from Donald Day.
“Our defense has been playing well all season,” said Scaturro, who intercepted another pass in the second half. “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.”
Marcus Marshall scored on an 8-yard run and Temari Parker had a 4-yard touchdown run for the Saints, who defeated their rivals for the second straight year and 10th in the last 11 meetings.
“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.”
Day ran for 174 yards on 24 carries, while Gerard Berzins had three tackles for losses, a sack and forced a fumble to lead the defense. Timber Berzins had three tackles for losses and Cameron Brown had a pair of sacks, forced a fumble and had two tackles for losses for the Saints.
Craig Stevens connected with Joel Mandish for a 5-yard touchdown for Severn, which has lost two straight after its 8-0 start.
“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.”
St. Mary’s (6-4) 14 7 7 7 — 35
Severn (8-2) 0 0 0 7 — 7
SM — Blair 88 kickoff return (Donohue kick)
SM — Poole 40 interception return (Donohue kick)
SM — Day 24 run (Donohue kick)
SM — Marshall 8 run (Donohue kick)
SE — Mandish 5 pass from Stevens (Gergar kick)
SM — Parker 4 run (Donohue kick)