Georgetown Prep rallied for 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including 14 in the final three minutes, to hand top-ranked St. Mary's a 34-28 defeat at Anne Arundel Community College last night.
Georgetown Prep, unranked in the Washington, D.C., area, pulled to within two points with just under three minutes to go, when Richard Wells caught a blocked punt in stride and raced 28 yards for a touchdown.
St. Mary's sputtering offense punted the ball back to the visitors with 1: 52 remaining, and Georgetown won quickly, on a three-play scoring drive, highlighted by a 59-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Toussaint to Curt Gallagher with 1: 21 remaining.
On the winning touchdown pass, St. Mary's cornerback tried for the interception but came up empty, allowing Gallagher to run down the sidelines untouched.
"If you look back at the games we've lost over the years, it's been the big play that's beaten us," said St. Mary's coach Brad Best. "Give Georgetown Prep credit, because they kept fighting and hanging in there, and we couldn't quite put them away. I just told the kids, 'When we've got someone down, we've got to stay on top of them and try to keep them down.' "
The Saints (3-1) let running back Paul King break away for gains of 36 and 25 yards on the Hoyas' opening drive, which ended with Toussaint scrambling in for a 1-yard touchdown.
St. Mary's, coming off last week's 31-14 win over rival Severn, showed it had some big-play ability of its own as quarterback Ryan Metzbower (18 of 28, 275 yards, one touchdown) hit Rob Hoffman (nine catches, 168 yards, two touchdowns) alone on the sidelines near the Little Hoyas' bench for a 68-yard touchdown strike. Tim Shanley's point-after kick hooked left, leaving the Saints trailing 7-6 with 5: 49 left in the first quarter.
Georgetown Prep, which battled back from a halftime deficit and handed the Saints a 23-9 defeat last season in Rockville, moved the ball into St. Mary's territory on its ensuing possession before the Saints' defense forced the visitors to turn the ball back.
St. Mary's offense then drove 82 yards on 10 plays. Hoffman capped the time-consuming drive, catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Metzbower in heavy traffic at the goal-line. Metzbower kept it for the two-point conversion to give the hosts a 14-7 early second-quarter lead.
A three-plays-and-out series enabled the Saints to start their next drive at the 50. Seven plays later they were celebrating Ernie Listman's 7-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
The Little Hoyas answered with an eight-play, 67-yard scoring drive that cut the lead to 21-14 at the half.
Pub Date: 9/27/97