St. Mary’s takes B crown; AACS earns C title
Donald Day III and his teammates completed a journey Saturday night that they “spoke into existence” years ago.
The goal: A Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference football title. Goal achieved.
The St. Mary’s Saints took down their rivals, the Severn Admirals, for the second straight week and won the conference championship, 28-14, at Whittles Field at Archbishop Spalding High School.
“As a senior group, as freshmen, we spoke this into existence, and now three years later, we’re here and it really just feels great,” said Day, who led the Saints with over 100 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns. “I wouldn’t want to do this with any other team.”
St. Mary’s (7-4) beat Severn (8-3) 35-7 in last week’s regular season finale. By winning that game and getting some help, the Saints won a tiebreaker that entered them into the conference title game, a rematch with their longtime rivals that seemed set up by destiny. It all led to the Saints’ first football title since 2008.
Severn’s opening drive ended early with a sack by Saints star pass-rusher Gerard Berzins, but on the Saints’ first play on offense, Admiral defensive back Trevor Marvin jumped in front of Kyle Hill’s pass and picked it off at midfield. But Severn went three and out, and the teams traded punts for the rest of the quarter.
Day suffered an injury on the first play of the second quarter but would later return. Head coach Jason Budroni said after the game that Day entered concussion protocol and checked out fine.
But on the play after Day exited, Hill completed his first pass of the night, finding Ryan Poole open in the left corner of the end zone for a 21-yard score.
St. Mary’s stuffed the Admirals’ ensuing drive thanks to sacks by Cam Brown and Berzins, and second-string running back Marcus Marshall carried the Saints when they got the ball back. Marshall’s running set up a field goal attempt, but Dominic Donohue missed the 37-yarder to the left.
Day returned on the Saints’ next possession and ran the ball for 11 and nine yards on his first two plays back. Marshall later broke a 20-yarder in his change-ofpace role, then Day brought the team to the 1-yard line and punched it in for the touchdown.
The Admirals got very little going offensively and punted on all six of their first-half drives.
AACS 21, ST. JOHN’S CP 16: Annapolis Area Christian School couldn’t get out of its own way during the first half of Saturday’s Maryland Intercollegiate Athletic Association C Conference championship game against St. John’s Catholic Prep. On the few opportunities the Eagles had, they couldn’t solve the Vikings defense while penalties killed big plays.
But in the second half, the Eagles found their stride on offense, scoring 14 straight points and holding on for a 21-16 victory to win their second C Conference title in three years.
“They played well,” Eagles coach Mike Lynn said. “The guys have been working hard. You play a team three times in five weeks, that’s a little rough. They’re a big, physical team. Our guys didn’t shy away from the challenge today and we’re very proud of our team. (They’re) the most unselfish team I’ve ever been around in 25 years of coaching.”
The AACS defense kept the Vikings at bay for most of the first half. After a 40-yard interception was returned for a touchdown by defensive back and wide receiver Thaddeus Standfield, the offense frequently stalled for the Eagles (8-2).
“It’s the best defense ever,” Lynn said. “(Defensive coordinator) Tom Thompson and the defensive staff do a tremendous job every week to put us in position to win. We live and die by our defense.”
Standfield was a force to be reckoned with in all three phases of the game. On top of the interception, he had two kickoff returns 30 yards or more and would have had a touchdown reception in the first half if not for a holding penalty.
“If we had a fourth phase, he would play it,” Lynn said of his versatile star. “He’s a special football player. He’s a special guy and we’re blessed to have him (considering) this is just his second year of playing.”
St. Mary's Saints celebrates after beating archrival Severn in the MIAA B Conference final.