The Sun's Katherine Dunn talks with John Carroll QB Kurt Rawlings, who scored 6 touchdowns in his team's 41-22 win over Boys' Latin, a game that concluded Monday after being suspended by rain and lightning on Friday. (Baltimore Sun)
Monday afternoon, No. 9 John Carroll had no trouble sustaining the momentum it had gained before lightning struck in the third quarter Friday afternoon, suspending the game at Boys' Latin, which does not have stadium lights.
The Patriots led by a touchdown as play resumed, but John Carroll quarterback Kurt Rawlings and his teammates needed less than seven minutes to polish off a couple of scoring drives and spark a 41-22 victory that was more than 72 hours in the making and gave the Patriots sole possession of first place in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference.
In this week's Ravens RISE High School Football Showdown, Rawlings accounted for both touchdowns Monday to bring his total for the game to six — four passing and two rushing. He went 21-for-27 for 267 yards and connected with receivers Alex Rasmussen (two), Ky'el Hemby and Niko Rice for touchdowns.
"It's real weird to have to drive down here 45 minutes, warm up for another almost 45 minutes and play only 20 minutes," Rawlings said. "We were facing adversity in the game and of course with that, but we responded well. It seemed like we never had a break. We came out firing."
The game resumed with 55 seconds left in the third quarter and the Lakers (5-2, 3-1) in possession, but John Carroll (7-0, 4-0) ended that drive on fourth-and-1.
Rawlings, who has thrown for more than 2,000 yards and 33 touchdowns this fall, quickly took the Patriots down the field with a four-play, 63-yard drive capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass to Rice (six catches, 58 yards).
John Carroll got the ball right back when Hemby recovered a fumble on the punt return. The Patriots went another 63 yards to take a 41-20 lead on Rawlings' 6-yard run with 6:37 left.
The Lakers had a chance to tie on their brief series that began the day's action, but a dropped pass cost them a touchdown. They settled for a safety in the waning seconds as their only Monday scoring.
"They executed and we didn't," Lakers coach Ritchie Schell said. "I'm not sure whether [the three-day break] helped them or not, but we know we can play with them."
The two teams could meet again in the B Conference playoffs.
On Friday, the Lakers rallied after the Patriots opened the game with three touchdowns — on 17- and 4-yard passes to Rasmussen (four catches, 106 yards) and a 1-yard pass to Hemby (five catches, 52 yards).
Dajuan Felder scored on a 7-yard run and after the Lakers defense forced a punt with 1:11 left in the half, they drove to the 37-yard line — close enough for kicker Dom Maggio.
The Under Armour All-American nailed the 55-yard field goal, tied for the fourth longest in state history behind the record of 59 set by Havre de Grace's Shane West in 2003 and a pair of 57-yarders.
After the break, Lakers quarterback Logan Wisnauskas (20-for-38, 266 yards) hit Braden Atkinson (five catches, 118 yards) for a 74-yard catch-and-run to the end zone. Maggio added the extra point. Three minutes later, after Victor Dimukeje recovered a John Carroll fumble and Maggio booted a 21-yard field goal to tie it.
At that point, the Patriots started mixing up their offense a little more. Junior running back Devin Darrington, who finished with 124 yards on 22 carries, gained 62 of the 89 yards on the next drive before Rawlings capped it for a 27-20 lead less than two minutes before the storm hit Friday.
"They mixed up the [defensive] fronts a little bit, so if you're going to put more guys with a Cover 4 look, trying to keep him from going down to his posse of receiver, then we have Devin Darrington. On any other team he would be averaging 200-yards plus a game. The kid can run. ... I think he's a Division I football player," said Patriots coach Keith Rawlings, who was mourning the death of his brother-in-law, Kurt's uncle, who died suddenly Sunday.