St. Mary's coach Jason Budroni talks to his team after a 28-0 victory over Concordia Prep Friday night
St. Mary's coach Jason Budroni talks to his team after a 28-0 victory over Concordia Prep Friday night (Katherine Fominykh)

When St. Mary’s quarterback Chris Golini took flight, victory took a ride on his pass.

The junior commanded air traffic on his home turf, completing two nearly half-field passes to capture St. Mary’s fourth straight win, 28-0, over Concordia Prep.

Advertisement

“We’ll take a shutout any day of the week,” coach Jason Budroni said.

St. Mary’s (4-2) remains unbeaten in conference play but braces itself for another near-perfect opponent in Pallotti next Friday.

“Pallotti’s a good team, so we got to work hard on everything," Golini said. "All-around, we gotta get better.”

With his lead in hand, Golini retired late in the fourth quarter having tossed 5-for-7 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Wicks complimented his pilot with the other pair of scores, upping his season pile to 18. Having entered Friday the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association rushing leader by a country mile, Wicks now has 1,090 to his name, going 18 for 87 yards against Concordia Prep.

St. Mary’s march towards blowout, though, was a gradual one. As the hosts (4-2) struggled to sew up a litany of holes in its defenses, Concordia Prep (4-2) had no issue stuffing its hosts up the nose like autumnal hayfever, especially its standout rusher. St. Mary’s twice couldn’t get past four downs on its own merit, surviving three-and-out once as a flag gifted it another, fruitless, four tries.

The visitors from Towson may as well have been muttering “Alex Wicks” to themselves like a mantra as Concordia Prep targeted the senior on every play, dragging him down for single-digit gains or even losses.

With the ground gridlocked like Bay Bridge traffic, Golini opted for another mode of travel.

“Usually they stack the box a lot because we’re a really good running team," he said. "When we pass, it’s usually pretty open.”

Senior wideout Dhane Blair wheeled down-field, looking back in time to secure his quarterback’s 44-yard sling and land 10 yards from the end zone.

“It’s Chris’s second year, so we trust Chris to throw the ball," Budroni said. "We like to run the ball, but we saw a couple openings. We got a long season to go, so we don’t want to run Alex every play. If we can throw the ball a little bit, take a little off Alex, that’s going to be our plan going forward.”

It was like with every yard the ball cast a shadow over, Concordia Prep’s once glacier-thick defense melted away. Wicks cut through the crowd easily, putting his blue-clad brothers on the board.

With time whittling away in the first frame into the second, Concordia Prep mostly turned to Keenan Gilchrist to patch things up, with little bits of yardage gained here and there.

Seemingly inspired by its offense’s performance, St. Mary’s defense bucked up. Senior defensive lineman Quinn Donoway extinguished whatever rally quarterback Justin Carter had tried to drum up with the Saints’ first sack — one of three in the first half.

Meanwhile, Wicks was only just warming up. Golini trusted him for practically every play and the senior lacrosse star worked methodically, getting St. Mary’s down to the 43.

Advertisement

Of course, since it worked so well the first time, Golini decided to look to the skies again. He found Gabe Souza waiting in the end zone for another six points.

Another sack in the backfield quieted Concordia Prep’s attempted response — this time, by 6-foot-1 junior Colin Burlace — and amplified St. Mary’s. Wicks needed just two carries to bust through the visitors’ walls, landing the 8-yard touchdown.

Golini had one last trick up his sleeve. In the third quarter, he guzzled down 45 yards on a touchdown pass to Blair.

Though its usual leading cast matched expectations, St. Mary’s supporting actors played their part as well. Junior running back Ki’Sean Gray-Dantzler took the mantle, handling a majority of the handoffs (17) in the fourth quarter for a 75-yard total.

“Ki’Sean can run the ball," Budroni said. “He’s not quite where Wicks is right now, but we’ve got confidence in Ki’Sean to run the ball whenever we need him -- him and Dhane.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement