Boys’ Latin figured to win Saturday’s football game against visiting and banged-up Pallotti, but the Lakers did not expect the Panthers to be so accommodating.
Boys’ Latin capitalized on four turnovers — two of which helped the Lakers take a 31-8 first-half lead — while cruising to a 44-22 victory in a non-league game in Roland Park.
Lakers senior running back Derek Archer rushed for two touchdowns and 111 yards on 22 carries and teammate Logan Wisnauskas, a junior quarterback, threw for 129 yards.
The real story, however, was the Lakers’ defense, which had three interceptions, a fumble recovery and six sacks.
“Our defense could be as good as it’s ever been,” said Boys’ Latin football coach Ritchie Schell, a 14-year coach whose team opens Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference play Thursday at St. Mary’s in Annapolis. “We are fast, athletic and strong. We four really good linebackers and we have a lot of good defensive linemen up front.”
Linebacker Billy Wingo opened the scoring for Boys’ Latin, returning sophomore Mason Clark’s interception seven yards for a touchdown with 5:01 remaining in the first quarter.
Pallotti coach Rick Peacock, whose team competes in the MIAA C Conference, pulled Clark in favor of sophomore Devin Brogden when the Panthers got the ball back, and it paid off.
Pallotti moved 95 yards in five plays and Brogden capped the drive with a 49-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to Cam Sullivan-Brown. They teamed up for three touchdowns in the game. James Patterson ran in the 2-point conversion.
The rest of the half belonged to Boys’ Latin (3-1) as the Lakers scored 24 unanswered points.
Boys’ Latin went ahead for good with 7:12 remaining in the second half when Wisnauskas teamed up with Davey Lizana for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 7:12 remaining in the second quarter. Kicker Dominic Maggio booted one of his five extra points to put the Lakers ahead 14-8.
Boys’ Latin added two more touchdowns and a field goal before halftime to boost its lead to 31-8 — the halftime score.
Maggio finished the first-half scoring on 19-yard field goal that was set up by cornerback Desmond Banks fumble recovery.
Pallotti closed to 31-16 with 8:01 left third quarter on another Brogden to Sullivan-Brown touchdown pass and Patterson conversion run.
Boys’ Latin answered with a 77-yard, 7-play drive finished off by Archer’s 7-yard run to go ahead 37-16.
Pallotti responded with a 10-play, 80-yard series ending on Brogden’s 38-yard touchdown pass to Sullivan-Brown.
But the Panthers didn’t threaten to score again as the Lakers put the game out of reach on Stephon Hill’s 3-yard touchdown run with about four minutes remaining.
“We got ourselves in a hole,” Rich Peacock said of the first half. “I am proud of my guys for the way they picked it up in the second half and continued to fight. We had a lot of injuries. We had 10 guys that were out. It really hurt us. We were playing with backups at almost every single position.”