xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

St. Paul's defeats John Carroll with late touchdown, 2-point conversion

Victory was tantalizing close for St. Paul's transfer Kurt Rawlings in his first encounter with his old football team on Friday afternoon in Brooklandville.

In fact, the John Carroll junior was one play away from a sure victory until his former teammate and fellow quarterback Anthony Pino delivered a 17-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and then completed a two-point conversion toss — both to junior Tyler Rockhill — with 1:38 remaining to propel the Crusaders (3-1-1, 1-0 conference) to a pulsating 22-21 victory in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference opener for both schools.

Advertisement

Pino's initial clutch throw was not his first choice, given the blanket coverage Patriot senior defensive back Jake Rosachi was providing on St. Paul's rookie wideout John Walker.

Still, Pino, a senior four-year starter, spotted Rockhill coming across the middle and he threaded the throw between a couple of defenders for his third touchdown pass of the game. Rockhill's catch was a thing of beauty as he dove headlong along the goal line to snare the ball.

Advertisement
Advertisement

"I didn't even see if he caught it," Pino said, "because I got crushed (by John Carroll defenders)."

That play made it 21-20 and gave St. Paul's coach Paul Bernstrorf the opportunity to play it safe and kick the extra point or go for a two-pointer.

Bernstorf said the choice was an easy one.

"I have a lot of seniors on the team, so I left it up to them," Bernstorf said. "They wanted to go for it and so did I. It all depends on the situation. Last week we kicked the extra point (in a 35-35 tie with Landon). This week we went for it."

Advertisement

Pino (19 for 23, 253 yards), who was limping toward the end of the game and suffered a cut to his non-throwing hand, rolled to his right and rifled the conversion pass to Rockhill, who made another nice catch to give his team the lead for good.

"Anthony makes tremendous decisions," Bernstorf said. "He just knows how to win. I can't say enough good things about him."

Rawlings couldn't be blamed for thinking his heroics would carry the day for the Patriots (2-3, 0-1 conference), who also suffered a 3-0 setback to C Conference power St. Vincent Pallotti and a 14-13 loss to Calvert Hall of the A Conference.

After all, his 75-yard sweep late in the third quarter snapped a 14-14 deadlock and put John Carroll on top, 22-14. He also completed 19 of 29 passes for 171 yards.

Earlier, Rawlings sprinted 11 yards for the Patriots' first touchdown and then ran 9 yards for a first down to sustain a drive late in the first half that eventually drew John Carroll even, at 14-14, late in the first half.

Senior Malik Tyne finished that sequence when he skirted left end for 5 yards and a score.

"It was great coming back here," said Rawlings, whose brother, Keifer, was a standout football and baseball player for St. Paul's before graduating last spring. "They (Crusaders) played their hearts out, and I tip my cap to Anthony. He played a great game."

Pino's first touchdown pass was a 21-yard strike in the corner of the end zone that senior wideout Allan Koikoi manage to haul in and somehow stay in bounds with a Patriot defender draped over him.

After Rawlings' first touchdown, Pino and Koikoi connected on a 36-yard touchdown with 1:39 left in the opening half.

"We always make it hard on ourselves," Rockhill said. "It's never easy for us."

JC     7     7    7     0      21

SP     7     7    0     8      22

SP-Koikoi 21 pass from Pino (Mastromanolis kick)

JC-Rawlings 11 run (Cutchin kick)

SP-Koikoi 36 pass from Pino (Mastromanolis kick)

JC-Tyne 5 run (Cutchin kick)

JC-Rawlings 75 run (Cutchin kick)

SP-Rockhill 17 pass from Pino (Rockhill pass from Pino)

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement