All season, the Southwestern Sabers have relied upon their passing game for the winning margin. But they fell short yesterday, 36-12, in a Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference game at St. Paul's.
A dominating St. Paul's defense and strong winds stopped Southwestern's run-and-shoot offense. The Crusaders' Shawn Mahoney and John Cougle together racked up 153 rushing yards and three touchdowns as St. Paul's (7-1, 5-1) beat Southwestern (3-3, 3-2), to stay in sole possession of second place in the MSA C Conference, behind St. Mary's.
"The pass has been [Southwestern's] bread and butter," said Crusaders coach Mitch Tullai. "When you're able to do it, you'll live. When our guys contain the QB like they did today, you'll die."
The pressure of defensive linemen Troy Thingelstad and Jeremy Eaton forced Southwestern quarterback Diarra Davis (14-for-35) to hurry several passes and throw away others. Eaton also lent a hand on three of the Crusaders' four sacks, which netted minus-62 yards.
Southwestern had only 92 yards total offense, just one week after Davis had passed for 407 yards and seven touchdowns in a 59-2 win over Spalding.
Sophomore Brad Read added to the Sabers' woes with a career-high three interceptions, placing him among area leaders with seven for the year.
"That wind, especially in the first half really hurt us," said Southwestern coach Fred Kaiss. "It just killed our offense."