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Curley football runs away from St. Paul's, 38-14

They call themselves the one-two punch, but Archbishop Curley senior running backs Deonte Harris, who wears No. 1, and Shawn Fenner, wearing No. 2, put up numbers way higher than that as they combined to run for 337 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 12 Archbishop Curley (6-0) to a 38-14 over host St. Paul's (3-2-1).

Both teams came into Friday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference showdown with a victory and no losses in league play.

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In addition to rushing for 229 yards on 18 carries, Harris also tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Tyshawn Williams for the Friars' first score.

He also returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown after St. Paul's cut a 12-0 deficit to 12-7 on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Pino to Tyler Rockhill with 7:51 left in the first half.

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"We scored to make it 12-7 and they returned the kickoff for a touchdown," St. Paul's coach Paul Bernstorf said. "We just needed our breaks today and we didn't make our breaks today and they did. They played great."

Curley also got the breakaways.

Harris made it 12-0 early in the second quarter with an electrifying 71-yard TD that covered both sides of the field. He swept right down the sideline, juked three Crusaders and sprinted diagonally until he dove for the score at the far pylon.

"He just has that God-given ability," Curley coach Sean Murphy said. "I can assure you there is nothing I'm teaching him. He's just a great player and he makes a lot of great plays. He's so fast. It's amazing. The average kid might get five or 10 yards. He turns it into an 80-yard touchdown run."

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Trailing 19-7 late in the second half, the Crusaders thought they got the break they needed when a low snap on a punt was recovered in the end zone by Ryan Zoll and they only trailed 18-14 at intermission.

Meanwhile, St. Paul's quarterback Pino was cruising in the first half when he completed 8 of 16 passes for 125 yards.

"I thought our defensive coaches made some really good adjustments at halftime because Anthony was having success throwing the ball and they were making some big plays," Murphy said. "We really did a nice job containing Anthony and keeping him in the pocket and not letting him get outside the pocket."

After getting a pair of sacks from Kai Lee and one from Kiyon Brandford in the first half, the Friars pressured Pino the whole second half.

Elijah Glover, Vinnie Shaffer, David Wilson, Jake Brown and Theo Devine joined the sack pack in the second half when Pino connected on 6 of 15 with one interception by Williams.

After gaining 35 yards on seven carries in the first half, Curley's Fenner ran for 73 on 12 attempts.

"We had to pound," Fenner said. "There were taking it away from us in the first half. We had to come back hard. I had to run a little harder than I was in the first half and that's what I did."

Fenner's two-yard touchdown run behind right guard Anye Angwafo made it 28-14 and a blocked punt from Tyrone Roper led to another short run for a score and 31-14 lead.

"It was 24-14 in the fourth quarter," Bernstorf said. "We are right in the game and we just can't make a play and they made all the plays they needed to make."

Harris added a 38-yarder for the final score and sophomore reserve Roper ran 78 yards late in the game to help give the Friars 424 yards rushing in the contest.

"This is our philosophy," Fenner said. "You can't give up. You got to keep pushing. If they don't hurt you, it will only make you stronger."

Both running backs used a last minute loss to the Crusaders in the final minute of last year's championship game as motivation.

"We used it a lot. That feeling last year hurt so we used that as motivation," Harris said. "We want that ring."

Boxscore

AC 6-12-6-14-38

SP 0-14-0-0-14

Scoring

1st quarter

AC-Harris 17 pass to Williams (kick failed)

2nd quarter

AC-Harris 71 run (run failed)

SP-Pino 26 pass to Rockhill (Golden kick)

AC-Harris 85 kickoff return (run failed)

SP-Zoll fumble recovery in end zone (Golden kick)

3rd quarter

AC-Fenner 2 run (pass failed)

4th quarter

AC-Fenner 4 run (Hunter kick)

AC-Harris 38 run (Hunter kick)

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