Home Uncategorized Second-half surge carries St. Georges High School football past Saint Mark’s High...

Second-half surge carries St. Georges High School football past Saint Mark’s High School: Photo gallery

The Spartans' Mass Paoli returns the ball after an interception. Dialog photo/Jason Winchell

MILLTOWN — John Wilson spent 13 years as the football coach at Saint Mark’s before leaving for St. Georges. On Sept. 8, in his first game at the Graveyard since Nov. 10, 2017, Wilson led the Hawks to a 20-9 victory in the opening game for both teams.

A large crowd filled the bleachers and lined the fence, and more sat on the hill behind the west end zone. They braved temperatures near 90 degrees and a wet blanket of humidity, but saw a game that was close most of the way.

The Spartans had the early edge on offense, but they stalled inside St. Georges territory on their first two drives. Their punt on the second drive, however, was downed at the Hawks’ 1, and that led to the game’s first points.

St. Georges faced a third down and 10-plus yards from inside the 1, and Saint Mark’s Mass Paoli intercepted a Hawks pass and returned it to the 12.The offense could gain just one yard on three plays, and Matteo Bracalenti connected on a 30-yard field goal with 1:57 to go in the first.

The Spartans added to that lead late in the second. They took over after a punt on their own 48 with 6:21 on the clock and went to work. Caleb King opened the drive with an 8-yard run, and five plays later, King carried again to the St. Georges’ 27. A penalty pushed them back five yards, and on first and 15, quarterback James Campbell threaded a pass to Logan Klein in the front right corner of the end zone. The extra point was blocked, and Saint Mark’s took a 9-0 lead into the half.

St. Georges had six possessions in the first half. Four ended with punts, another with an interception, and the clock ran out during the last drive. They came out a different team in the second half.

They started with the ball at their own 20, but Camron Montgomery ripped off runs of 28 and 14 on consecutive plays to set his team up at the Spartans’ 38. Facing a third and 10, quarterback Francis McCarthy handed the ball to Montgomery again, and he went over right tackle for 10 yards. Terry White got three yards on first down, but Montgomery did the rest, covering the final 25 yards on three rushes, including the 2-yard scoring run with 7:52 remaining in the third.

The Hawks’ defense forced Saint Mark’s into a three and out, and the visitors got the ball back on their own 22 with 5:13 to go in the quarter. On second down at the 37, McCarthy hit Jason Askins-Brooks on the right side, and he streaked down the sideline for the go-ahead touchdown.

Montgomery struck one more time on St. Georges’ first possession of the fourth quarter. He ended a 10-play drive with a 26-yard scoring run in which he broke two tackles, then dove over the goal line after being hit along the sidelines.

The Spartans got the ball down to the Hawks’ 8 as the clock ran down, but an interception erased any doubt about the outcome. Two of the team’s four second half possessions ended with interceptions, the other two with punts.

Final statistics were not available early Saturday morning. The Hawks (1-0) will host Hodgson on Sept. 16 at noon, while the Spartans (0-1) head to Archmere the same day for an 11 a.m. kickoff.

All photos by Jason Winchell.