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Shortly after losing to St. Mary’s in last year’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship game, the St. Vincent Pallotti football team got right back to work in preparation for the 2019 season.

That extra work paid off, as the Panthers rolled through the B Conference this year and capped off a championship season with a 42-0 victory over the Saints on Saturday in the B Conference championship game at Archbishop Spalding High School.

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Emani Alford ran for 82 yards and scored three touchdowns, while the Pallotti defense recorded its sixth shutout of the season.

“We were in the championship last year and lost,” Pallotti coach Tony Ashley said. “We started working that Monday after Thanksgiving in the weight room. We progressed throughout the season. The coaches worked hard and the players worked hard.”

Alford scored on runs of three and two yards in the first half and added an 8-yard run in the second half for Pallotti, which lost to Calvert Hall of the A Conference on Aug. 30 and responded by winning its final 10 games.

“We wanted it more,” Alford said. “There was a lot of passion and emotion behind this because last year they beat us. Me and the other seniors had a talk and said we didn’t want to go out sad, and we sure didn’t.”

Pallotti (11-1) wasted little time taking control on Saturday. Following runs of eight and 10 yards from Alford, Ejau Collazo hit Isaiah Perkins for a 52-yard touchdown to open the scoring just three minutes in. After the teams traded punts, the Panthers turned an Osei Dixon fumble recovery into Alford’s first score of the game and gave the Panthers a 14-0 lead after one.

Kolby Barnes’ 1-yard plunge made it 21-0 a minute into the second quarter, then after the Saints failed to cover the ensuing kickoff, Mekhi McDaniels (79 yards rushing) scored on a 30-yard run to push the lead to 28-0. Following an interception by Dixon, Alford’s second touchdown made it a 35-0 game at the half and forced the second half to begin under a running clock.

“That was important. We wanted to start fast and hit them hard and hit them quick,” Ashley said. “We didn’t want to get into a battle.”

Alford’s third touchdown capped the scoring three minutes into the second half. The Saints moved deep into Pallotti territory twice in the second half, but failed to spoil the shutout.

Patrick Dunleavy and Reed Romo recovered fumbles for the Saints, who were in the championship game for the third straight year after winning the last two.

“It was still a great season,” St. Mary’s coach Jason Budroni said. “Right now, it’s depressing, but overall big picture, the seniors had great careers. We would have liked to send them out on top, but it didn’t happen today. That’s the way life goes sometimes.”

St. Mary’s (8-4) 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Pallotti (11-1) 14 21 7 0 -- 42

First Quarter

PA -- Perkins 52 pass from Collazo (Reis kick)

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PA -- Alford 3 run (Reis kick)

Second Quarter

PA -- Barnes 1 run (Reis kick)

PA -- McDaniels 30 run (Reis kick)

PA -- Alford 2 run (Reis kick)

Third Quarter

PA -- Alford 8 run (Reis kick)

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