ST. GEORGES — Salesianum kicker James Collins missed a 50-yard field goal with 9:40 to go in the fourth quarter of the Sals’ game at St. Georges on Sept. 24, but the senior got one more chance to help his team before the game ended. This time, Collins was true, nailing a 35-yard field goal with 39 seconds left as the Sals escaped St. Georges with a 16-14 win.
It was the 300th career win for coach Bill DiNardo, who is in his 19th season at Salesinaum after stints at Caravel and Middletown.
After the missed field goal, St. Georges took over on its own 20 and began a long-time consuming drive while trailing, 13-7. It included a third and 2 from the Hawks’ 28, and Kwame Miller picked up nine. Later, on a third and 7 from the St. Georges’ 40, quarterback Donovan Brooks hit Reginald Lea for an 18-yard gain.
Brooks got the Hawks to the Sals’ 10 with a 32-yard keeper, and Terry White did the rest. White gained nine yards on first down, then went into the end zone on second to put the hosts ahead by one with 5:18 to go.
Vincent DelliCompagni returned the kickoff to the Salesianum 43 to get the Sals off to a good start on the eventual game-winning drive. Quarterback Ryan Stoehr found Sean Curley on a middle screen for 13 yards on first down. A few plays later, the Sals faced a third and 11 from the Hawks’ 41, and Stoehr scrambled for 10 of those. Curley got the ball on fourth down, and he managed enough distance for the first down at the 34.
The Sals got the ball to the 26, and facing a fourth and 2, they brought Collins on to kick with 57 seconds remaining. But before the Sals could snap the ball, the Hawks were whistled for too many men on the field, giving Salesianum a first down at the 21. They sandwiched two runs for no gain around an incomplete pass attempt in the end zone, but they got the ball into the middle of the field for Collins. He calmly drilled the 35-yarder, putting Sallies back on top.
The Hawks were able to run a few plays before the clock expired, but a desperation heave with one tick remaining was intercepted by the Sals to end the game.
It was the third field goal of the afternoon for Collins, His first was good from 33 yards and gave the Sals a 3-0 lead two and a half minutes into the second quarter. A St. Georges fumble on their next possession gave the ball back to the Sals at the Hawks’ 37. Stoehr found Lukas Ryan for a 19-yard pass reception, and on first down from the 18, Andrew Ransome carried for 12 yards to the 6. Ransome carried three more times, with the last rush good for a 2-yard score that made it 10-0.
The Hawks began the second half with the ball, and they drove 65 yards for their first touchdown. White scored that one as well, bouncing off right tackle on fourth down to score from 14 yards out.
The Sals answered immediately after getting the ball back. On third and 11 from their own 34, Stoehr and Liam Lego connected for a 45-yard completion. The drive bogged down after that, and Collins came in to hit from 34 yards to increase the lead to 13-7.
Salesianum improved to 2-1 and will play its next two at home, beginning with Hodgson on Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. The Hawks (1-2) remain home to play Appoquinimink on Oct. 1 at noon.
All photos by Mike Lang.