No. 2 Mount Saint Joseph dominated in the first half of the Ravens RISE Football Showdown Friday night at No. 5 Archbishop Spalding. The Gaels did everything right and rolled to a 23-0 halftime lead.
And then everything changed.
Spalding quarterback Jayden Umbarger led a second-half charge as the Cavaliers scored four straight touchdowns and rebounded for a stunning 28-25 victory over Mount Saint Joseph in a battle between MIAA A Conference rivals.
Umbarger ran for two touchdowns, threw one and caught a shovel pass from teammate Austin Tutas and went in for a 4-yard touchdown that gave the Cavaliers a 28-23 lead with 3:03 left.
Overall, Umbarger completed 17 of 32 for 233 yards and one touchdown. He also ran 29 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Plus, he caught the one pass for the decisive 4-yard score.
He repeatedly found Chris Clark. The senior wide receiver finished with 12 catches for 134 yards and helped the Cavaliers (6-2, 3-1) move down field in a second half where they outscored Mount Saint Joseph (8-2, 3-1).
Mount Saint Joseph scored on its second drive and appeared ready to take control. The Gaels drove 51 yards and topped it off with a 1-yard touchdown run from Marlowe Wax, Jr. with 6:59 left in the quarter. Quarterback and kicker Billy Atkins (22-for-41, 302 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions) added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
The Gaels added to the lead on their next drive. They marched from their own 34 to the Spalding 4-yard line and stalled. Atkins then kicked a 21-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.
Atkins struck again on the following possession. He threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Andre Crawley in the left side of the end zone and added the extra point for a 17-0 lead with 8:04 remaining in the half.
The Gaels extended the lead to 20-0 when Atkins kicked a 25-yard field goal with 2:03 left. That came after defensive lineman Stephen Schulze picked off a deflected pass and gave Mount Saint Joseph possession at the Spalding 5-yard line.
Spalding then gave the Gaels another gift by fumbling the ensuing kickoff, and Mount
Saint Joseph took over at the Cavaliers’ 35. Atkins and Maurice Nelson connected on a 24-yard pass on the first play but the drive stalled, and Atkins kicked a 28-yard field goal for a 23-0 lead with 1:20 to go in the half.
Spalding finally broke through on the first drive of the second half. Umbarger ran for a 26-yard touchdown, and Clark took a pitch and added the two-point conversion that made it 23-8.
The Cavaliers then made it even closer on their next drive as Umbarger found Zakee Wheatley in the right corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown, and the sophomore made a leaping catch. Spalding went for two but came up empty, and the score remained at 23-14 with 4:45 left in the quarter.
Umbarger then led the Cavaliers on an 85-yard scoring drive. He finished it with a 5-yard touchdown run and then ran for the two-point conversion which sliced the lead to 23-22 with 10:38 to go in the game.
Then, they took the lead when Tutas made his quick shovel pass. The Cavaliers got pinned deep in their own territory and took an intentional safety that made it 28-25 with 1:19 remaining.
The Gaels tried to drive one more time and got a shot at a potential game-tying kick but Atkins went wide left on a 35-yard field goal as time ran out – in the middle of a pouring rainstorm.
M; 7; 16; 0; 2; -; 25
S; 0; 0; 14; 14; -; 28
M- Wax 1 run (Atkins kick)
M- Atkins 21 FG
M- Crawley 18 pass from Atkins (Atkins kick)
M- Atkins 25 FG
M- Atkins 28 FG
S- Umbarger 26 run (Clark run)
S- Wheatley 9 pass from Umbarger (pass failed)
S- Umbarger 5 run (Umbarger run)
S- Umbarger 4 pass from Tutas (run failed)