No.14 St. Paul's picked up where it left off last season by beating Loyola, 26-21, in Towson on Friday afternoon in the opener for both schools.

Kaylon Johnson proved he was ready to be the Crusaders' feature back after embracing more of a complementary role last year for the undefeated Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference champs. 

 The senior racked up 126 yards rushing on 19 carries while junior quarterback Anthony Pino completed 16 of 22 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in St.Paul's 12th straight victory.

Senior fullback Keifer Rawlings scored three times for the Crusaders, who never trailed against their MIAA A Conference opponent.

"It was just a great win for our kids," St. Paul's coach Paul Bernstorf said. "Our coaches were really nervous coming in because we didn't get to scrimmage last week."

Pino shrugged off the notion that his team was apprehensive before the inter-conference battle.

"We know that we're a very good football team and so are they," he said. "We worked hard and were very well prepared."

Although Loyola senior defensive back Alex Issac knocked down Pino's pass in the end zone to thwart the first St. Paul's drive, the Crusaders scored on their next series on a 3-yard run by Pino to take an early lead.

The Dons came right back when junior quarterback Ben Evans' 8-yard sweep produced the tying touchdown early in the second quarter.

After Pino's 16-yard strike to Johnson put the ball on the Loyola 1-yard line on St. Paul's next possession, Rawlings bullied in for the go-ahead score.

An 18-yard screen pass from Pino to Rawlings ballooned the lead to 19-7 by halftime.

Loyola showed some fire of its own early in the third quarter when Evans rifled a pass to senior wideout Trevor Janoskie streaking down the middle of the field for a 35-yard touchdown.

Later, Evans completed a 60-yard scoring pass to senior wideout Mike Meurer late in the fourth quarter after Rawlings' third touchdown had given the visitors 26-14 advantage.

"We played hard and we fought hard until the end," Loyola coach Brant Hall said. "But we have to develop a greater level of concentration from the beginning of the game to the end. We just had too many mental mistakes."


SP  7 12 0 7 26

Loy 0 7  7 7 21


SP-Pino 3 run (Welsh kick)

Loy-Evans 8 run (Rowley kick)