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Archbishop Spalding rolls to 56-0 season-opening football victory

Archbishop Spalding's Molayo Irefin hauls in a 42-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Austin Tutas on Friday night as teammate Dustin Radford (2) and Bishop McDevitt defender Cordell Poplar (10) trail the play.
Archbishop Spalding's Molayo Irefin hauls in a 42-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Austin Tutas on Friday night as teammate Dustin Radford (2) and Bishop McDevitt defender Cordell Poplar (10) trail the play. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Fourth-ranked Archbishop Spalding took command of Friday night’s game with Bishop McDevitt (Pa.) rather quickly.

The Cavaliers intercepted passes on the Lancers’ first two series and scored touchdowns on their first two plays from scrimmage. That gave No. 4 Spalding a 14-point lead less than five minutes into the game, and the Cavaliers rolled to a 56-0 victory over visiting Bishop McDevitt.

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Spalding (1-0) was simply too much for the Lancers on both sides of the ball. The Cavaliers had a big edge in speed, quickness and talent for the visitors to deal with, and that’s why Spalding raced to a 49-0 halftime lead.

The Cavaliers, who scored 21 points in the first quarter and 28 more in the second, were able to do almost anything they wanted on offense, running or passing. They threw short, long, over the middle, to the side and ran everywhere when keeping the ball on the ground — making it tough for Bishop McDevitt to stay with them.

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On defense, they made life miserable for Lancers quarterback Lonnie Rice. He had plenty of speed but rarely found room to run as Spalding harassed him from both sides. The Lancers (1-1) struggled to move the ball.

“We wanted to play with a lot of tempo on offense and try to make it a track meet,” Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt said. “The turnovers early set the tone Nd then just the ability of the offense to finish drives off of the turnovers was good.”

In the first half, Spalding outgained Bishop McDevitt 309-97. For the visitors, 60 of those yards came on one play late in the first half.

That play helped push the Lancers inside the Spalding 10-yard line. Bishop McDevitt had fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with two seconds left, but Rice ran into a wall when trying to sneak it in as the Cavaliers stopped him on the spot.

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Spalding quarterback Austin Tutas was nearly perfect, completing 7 of 9 for 204 yards and four touchdowns in that first half. Quinton Young, Zakee Wheatley and Jayon Venerable all intercepted passes, and the Cavaliers converted each of the turnovers into touchdowns, putting the Lancers in a huge early hole.

“We executed at a high level,” Tutas said. “They gave us diverse looks. It was important for us to attack their weaknesses and we did.”

Venerable picked off Rice on the game’s third play and returned it 29 yards to the Lancer 7-yard line. Young then ran for a touchdown on the first play.

On the next series, Young intercepted Rice at the Lancers 43. Tutas then found Molayo Irefin for a touchdown on the next play for a 4-0 lead. Shamar Smith ran for a 2-yard score on the following series, and that gave the Cavaliers a 21-0 edge.

Tutas threw three more touchdown passes in the second quarter, and Venerable ran for one more, which helped Spalding to the 49-point halftime edge. Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt pulled Tutas in favor of Nick Gutierrez to start the second half.

The Lancers threatened again late in the third quarter and early into the fourth, but Rice couldn’t connect on a pass when they had fourth-and-goal from 12. Smith then ran for a 58-yard touchdown on the next series for a 56-0 lead.

Scoring Summary

BM - 0; 0; 0; 0 - 0

AS - 21; 28; 0; 7 - 56

A- Young 7 run (McCormick kick)

A- Irefin 43 pass from Tutas (McCormick kick)

A- Smith 3 run (McCormick kick)

A- Venerable 38 pass from Tutas (McCormick kick)

A- Radford 9 pass from Tutas (McCormick kick)

A- Venerable 8 run (Butts kick)

A- Wheatley 63 pass from Tutas (Butts kick)

A- Smith 58 run (Butts kick)

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