Peeler, Mount St. Joe pass test


Junior quarterback Joe Peeler fired five touchdown passes, all to junior receivers, and completed 12 of 23 passes for 262 yards as No. 4 Mount St. Joseph amassed 453 yards of total offense in routing No. 5 Oakland Mills, 34-7, yesterday at John M. Plevyak Field in Irvington.

It was the host Gaels' second straight win, and it spoiled the season opener for Oakland Mills of Howard County.

With the Gaels piling up 81 points in their first two games, future opponents must be wondering how good the Mount St. Joe offense can be with the expected return of junior running back Isaac Kufuor on Friday when the Gaels play at No. 11 McDonogh.

Kufuor, a second-team All-Metro back in 1999, has yet to play due to an injured hip, but sophomore Keon Lattimore picked up the slack yesterday with 108 yards rushing on 12 attempts.

And despite giving up 366 yards of total offense (217 passing, 149 rushing) to the J. T. Rembert-led Scorpions attack, the Gaels' defense made the big plays.

"I'm happy with the way they fight," said St. Joe coach Mike Working.

"What they do is they compete. We have to execute better, but I like the way they kind of grit their teeth and make a stand."

Led by senior middle linebacker A. J. Leonard, first-year playing senior corner Andre Jones and junior outside linebacker Dan Michalowicz, the Gaels stuffed the Scorpions twice inside the Mt. St. Joe 10 in the first half.

"We gave up some big plays and made a lot of mistakes," said Oakland Mills coach Ken Hovet.

J.J. Outlaw caught the first touchdown pass on a Peeler throw from the three into the right corner of the end zone on the first play of the second period. It capped a 17-play, 77-yard drive from the Gaels' 23-yard line after a scoreless first period.

Peeler hit Outlaw on a slant and Outlaw took it 69 yards to the end zone, shaking off a would-be tackler at the 15 to give Mt. St. Joe a 15-0 halftime lead.

A 7-yard scoring pass to P. J. Gilbert closed a nine-play, 76-yard drive to start the second half and Paul Ascosi's kick made it 21-0.

Peeler hooked up with Paschal Abiamiri on a 24-yard scoring strike to boost the lead to 27-0 with 5:35 left in the third quarter.

Rembert, a former running back, completed 10 of 21 passes for 193 yards and raced in from the 7 with 3:36 left in the third to prevent the shutout.

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