Boys' Latin's defense was up to the task in the annual football showdown with archrival St. Paul's on Friday afternoon in sunny Brooklandville.
Unfortunately for the Lakers (6-3, 3-3 league), the Crusaders' defense was even better in a 20-0 triumph that sends the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference champs back to the title game next week against Archbishop Curley.
The game is slated for Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Archbishop Spalding in Severn.
A blocked punt set up St. Paul's first scoring drive, which concluded with a 4-yard strike from junior quarterback Anthony Pino to senior running back Keifer Rawlings for a 7-0 lead with 56 seconds remaining in the opening period.
The Crusaders (8-1, 5-1) found the end zone again on their next drive that covered 57 yards in eight plays and finished with a 9-yard out pattern from Pino to sophomore receiver Tyler Rockhill for a 14-0 advantage.
After that, BL's defense stepped to the fore, sacking Pino four times and forcing two fumbles while blanking St. Paul's for more than 28 minutes.
The Crusaders didn't score again until the 4:09 mark of the fourth quarter on Pino's rainbow to sophomore Kurt Rawlings for a 20-0 lead.
On the other hand, the Lakers were throttled by St. Paul's defense so thoroughly that they didn't earn a first down until their first series of the second half. BL's deepest penetration into Crusaders' territory came after junior Devin Shewell recovered a fumble at the 15-yard line and the Lakers eventually moved to the 8-yard line before running out of downs.
"We just couldn't generate anything offensively," said BL coach Ritchie Schell, who praised Michael Whitehurst, William Wingo, Nick Gesualdi, Pat McManus and Preston Waters and the entire defense for stellar play in defeat.
Keifer Rawlings, who also plays middle linebacker, and his buddies were thrilled to pitch their second shutout of the season against their longtime foe.
"This gives us a lot of confidence going into next week," he said. "It was a total team effort."