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McDonogh dominates St. Paul's, 54-0


With an arsenal of weapons that includes one of the country's top quarterback prospects and two All-Metro wide receivers, McDonogh's offense routinely carves up opposing defenses.

Now imagine McDonogh's potent offense playing with added incentive.

L The result was a 54-0 rout of visiting St. Paul's yesterday.

Third-ranked McDonogh (3-1) felt it had something to prove to the Crusaders, who nearly pulled off an upset last season before falling to the heavily favored Eagles, 7-6.

"We were so pumped for this game because last year they kind of embarrassed us," McDonogh quarterback Bobby Sabelhaus said. "We beat them, 7-6, but it was an embarrassment to us because we thought we could kill them."

In last season's meeting, the Eagles did not score a touchdown until 4:03 remained in the game.

Yesterday, it took McDonogh 35 seconds to get into the end zone.

Dwayne Stukes scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 49-yard run on the game's first play from scrimmage.

On St. Paul's second play, the Crusaders fumbled and Tim Cober recovered for the Eagles. After an incompletion, Sabelhaus threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Badham.

Talk about an efficient offense. Three plays, 70 yards, 14 points. Total elapsed time: 1:05.

The Eagles scored two more touchdowns before the end of the first quarter for a 28-0 lead. McDonogh extended its lead to 40-0 at halftime, accumulating 291 of its 440 yards total offense in the first half.

McDonogh's defense, which registered its second consecutive shutout, limited St. Paul's to 81 total yards.

With excellent protection from his offensive line, Sabelhaus, who had completed just 11 of 27 against the Crusaders last season, was 12-for-18 with 206 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters. He also had a 36-yard touchdown pass called back because he failed to have his mouthpiece in.

Stukes gained 170 all-purpose yards, including a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 35-yard return of an interception for a touchdown.

Badham, the area's leader in receptions, caught six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Sean Sullivan added three receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles gained 234 yards rushing, led by Sean Smith (11 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown).

McDonogh first-year coach Dominic Damico praised his offensive line of Rick Cober, Albert Gibson, Vance Row, Lance Clelland, Harrison Bentley and P. J. Cole.

"Our offensive line is starting to click," Damico said. "If we pass protect, we can score every time."

After a season-opening loss to Potomac, McDonogh has outscored its opposition, 123-6, including two consecutive shutouts.

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