After No. 14 St. Paul's topped Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference member Loyola Blakefield last week, the Crusaders made sure county public school power Hereford's also felt their wrath Friday night in Parkton.
St. Paul's (2-0) rolled to a commanding 28-0 advantage in the first half to take the Bulls' big season-opening crowd out of the game in what turned out to be a 35-21 victory.
Junior quarterback Anthony Pino (15 for 25, 253 yards) led the way for St. Paul's, tossing two touchdown passes to senior halfback Hunter Pearl (139 yards on 5 receptions) and one to senior running back Kaylon Johnson before halftime.
Johnson also scored from the 1-yard line as the Crusaders left little doubt about their intention to win for 13th straight time dating back to last season's 11-0 championship run.
Hereford, though, struck back on its first drive of the second half, covering 62 yards on 11 plays to cut the deficit to 28-7 with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Senior quarterback Wyatt Bosley finished the sequence with a 5-yard run.
After St. Paul's capitalized on a fumbled punt to score on a 10-yard Johnson run for a 35-7 lead, the Bulls used a long kickoff return by senior running back Adam Ceribelli to put together another touchdown drive. Senior running back Bryce Fava bolted 20-yards up the middle to make it, 35-14, with 8:07 left in the fourth quarter.
They sliced the margin to 35-21 when Bosley found senior wipeout Tyler Fennel on a 34-yard pass for another score with 2:53 remaining.
"Hereford did a real good job of coming back on us," St. Paul's coach Paul Barnstorm said.
The Bulls were also adept at shutting down Johnson on the ground until he broke a long run late in the game to finish with 102 yards on 17 carries.
Barnstorm said that he couldn't remember the last time a team shut down the Crusaders' running game as well as the Bulls did.
Even so, St. Paul's was resourceful enough to score five DTs.
"We like to feel that we have a lot of weapons," Barnstorm added. "If you take away something, we can usually find other ways to score."
SP 7 21 0 7 35
H 0 7 14 21
SP-Pearl 7 pass from Pion (Welsh kick)
SP-Johnson 20 pass from Pion (Welsh kick)
SP-Johnson 1 run Welsh kick)
SP-Pearl 1 pass from Pion (Welsh kick)
H-Bodley 5 run (Courser kick)
SP-Johnson 10 run (Duke kick)
H-Fava 20 run (Courser kick)
H-Fennel 34 pass from Bodley (Courser kick)