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Hawks passing attack proves too much for Spartans


For The Dialog


MILLTOWN – Junior quarterback Robert Shorts completed eight of 12 attempts for 230 yards and three touchdowns as St. Georges Tech, ranked third in Division II football, used a strong passing attack to defeat St. Mark’s, 33-20, on a chilly and wet Oct. 21.

The Hawks committed turnovers on their first two possessions, but the Spartans could not capitalize. Shorts took advantage, hitting Doug Phillips for a 36-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and seven to go on┬áthe team’s third possession for the 7-0 lead.

footballDominic Catalano answered for St. Mark’s, knotting the score on an 18-yard touchdown run, but Shorts went to the air again. This time, he found Phillips for a 46-yard score. St. Georges struck from long-distance in the second quarter, as Shorts found Damani Wells along the right sideline for a 77-yard bomb and a 21-7 lead. The Spartans got one of those scores back just before halftime as David Balint blocked a punt, then fell on it in the end zone. It was 21-14 at the half.

St. Mark’s scored on its first possession of the second half as quarterback Billy Sullivan took to the skies. He completed three huge passes on the drive, the last of which was a diving catch by Zach Palmer in the end zone for a 16-yard scoring strike. The Hawks blocked the extra point to keep a one-point lead.

The Spartans tried an onside kick that was recovered by kicker Chris Ludman, but the referees ruled that the ball did not travel the required 10 yards. The Spartans forced a punt, but a high snap gave them great field position. They got to a fourth down with two yards to go, but a delay-of-game penalty set them back five yards, and they turned it over on downs. St. Georges answered, marching 76 yards, including a 37-yard pass from Shorts to Phillips. The Hawks were also aided by a pass interference call on St. Mark’s on a fourth down and 18. Jalen Smith finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run, but the Spartans stopped the two-point conversion to stay within seven points.

St. Mark’s went three and out, and Brian Benson closed out the scoring for the evening with a 51-yard run.

The Spartans fell to 4-3 and travel to Hodgson on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Hawks improved to 6-1 and will meet Brandywine on Saturday morning for a 10:30 kickoff.