Chad Houser shined brightest on a sparkling day for the Severn defense.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior caused a fumble that led to a score, set up one touchdown with his first interception and returned his second 80 yards for the game's final touchdown in yesterday's 23-7 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference win at St. Paul's.
The victory helped Severn rebound from a 17-12 loss to Boys' Latin after having shut out then-No. 3 McDonogh, 23-0.
"Teams shouldn't doubt us," said Houser, who also broke up a pass and had a third interception negated by a penalty. "When we play as a team, this is how good we can be."
Houser's was among several stellar efforts for the defending-champion Admirals (2-1 overall, 1-0 league).
Darnell Jones had a sack and a fumble recovery, and Jeff Holbrook recovered a fumble. Evan Crowther-Washburn, Jack Rosson and Pat O'Connell all had sacks. Billy Staines broke up two passes and Mike Alcamo broke up one. And Chase Williams dropped the runner for a 1-yard loss on a third-period fourth-and-inches play.
Every Severn score was directly or indirectly set up by the defense.
Jones' fumble recovery gave Severn possession at its 39. From there, the Admirals began a nine-play, 61-yard drive that ended with Rosson's 33-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead late in the first period.
Jones' sack forced St. Paul's to punt from its 14, giving Severn the ball at its 46. Five plays later, on second-and-15, Jones' younger brother, sophomore Jamal Jones, threw a 49-yard scoring pass to Paul Montaner. Rosson's first of two extra-point kicks made it 10-0 with 9:18 left in the half.
"Our defensive backs were great," said Darnell Jones. "We played the pass extremely well."
Houser certainly did, taking his third-period interception 27 yards to St. Paul's 38-yard line. On the next play, Deon Peters (100 rushing yards, 14 carries) dashed off tackle for a 17-0 lead.
Peters and Darnell Jones combined for 170 yards behind linemen Jeff Holbrook, Williams, Tony Mikolajewski, Nick Larkin, Corey Mattonen, Kyle Griffin and Tyler Larkin.
St. Paul's still held out hope, however, having overcome a 10-0 fourth-period deficit to beat John Carroll, 20-10, last week.
But after Brian McGettigan's 8-yard run made it 17-7, St. Paul's (2-2, 0-1), driving at Severn's 32-yard line, was thwarted by Houser's score.
"I think it's the first time we've won at St. Paul's in 14 years," said Severn coach John Beckman. "We saw them against John Carroll and were concerned. But Chad's interception was a great ending."