The season-opening showdown of nationally ranked football teams, St. Frances and St. Joseph’s Prep from Philadelphia, was called off Friday night after 90 minutes of lightning delays.
The Panthers, The Baltimore Sun’s No. 1 team, led 13-7 with 6:05 left in the third quarter when officials sent players to the locker rooms for a third lightning delay at Maryland Stadium. With lightning still flashing in the distance around 10:30 p.m., officials decided the storms were unlikely to stop in time to finish the game.
The game will not be made up, but since it wasn’t completed, St. Frances won’t get a win. It was uncertain Friday night whether it would be considered no game or a tie.
St. Frances overcame several obstacles, including bad snaps, costly penalties and the delays, to score the last 13 points. Joachim Bangda and Blake Corum each ran for a touchdown.
Corum, a transfer from St. Vincent Pallotti, broke the tie with a 10-yard scoring run just after the first 30-minute lightning delay. Bangda’s touchdown tied the game with 45 seconds left in the first quarter. Five minutes earlier, Hawks sophomore quarterback Kyle McCord hit receiver Johnny Freeman for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
At that point, there were three minutes left in the first half. The officials skipped halftime since the 30-minute break came so late in the half, but there were two more delays in the third quarter.
The Panthers are ranked No. 8 in USA Today’s Super 25 while the Hawks are ranked No. 17.
On Friday, the Panthers will host Christ the King from New York City at Utz Field in Patterson Park.